Friday, 29 February 2008

A bit of high culture . . . . .



A parody of G&S I did a while ago . . . . .


THE WARGAMES MAJOR-GENERAL


GENERAL: I am the very model of a wargames Major-General,

I've information tactical, strategic, and nonsensical,

I know all the Great Captains and I quote the fights historical

From Marathon to Waterloo, but never chronological;

I'm very well acquainted, too, with army lists apocryphal,

I understand all theories, Jomini and Clausewitzical,

About the Foundry I am always teeming with a lot o' news,

With many cheerful facts about the revenue of you know who.



ALL: With many cheerful facts about the revenue of you know who.


GENERAL: I'm very good at gossiping about all things malicious;

I quote at length the thoughts of Barker the genius;

In short, in matters tactical, strategic and nonsensical,

I am the very model of a wargames Major-General.


ALL: In short, in matters tactical, strategisc and nonsensical,

He is the very model of a wargames Major-General.

GENERAL: I know our mythic history, I’m an expert on fantasy;

I answer rule acrostics, I've a petty taste for paradox,

I’ve learned by rote whole passages from DBA and DBM,

So I can floor opponents who use historic strategems;

I can tell undoubted Copplestones from older Foundry castings,

I know my painting skill engenders praise that’s everlasting!

I also know my body odour clears a place before a stall,

So I can see the figures about which I know bugger all.



ALL: So he can see the figures about which he knows bugger all.


GENERAL: Then I can write a shopping list in Babylonic cuneiform,

And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform:

In short, in matters tactical, strategic and nonsensical,

I am the very model of a wargames Major-General.



ALL: In short, in matters tactical, strategisc and nonsensical,

He is the very model of a wargames Major-General.



GENERAL: In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin",

When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin,

When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at,

And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat",

When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery,

When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery- -

In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy,

You'll say "Oh no it’s him, he must have had a verbal laxative!"



ALL: You'll say "Oh no it’s him, he must have had a verbal laxative!"


GENERAL: For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,

Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;

But still, in matters tactical, strategic and nonsensical,

I am the very model of a wargames Major-General.



ALL: But still, in matters tactical, strategic and nonsensical,

He is the very model of a wargames Major-General.


Sometimes it's strange what keeps me amused. . . . .


Just done some more work on Frank's Prussians. Pig of a job getting the rose pink facings right, but I think I've done it this time. Well on the way now and picking up a rhythm. Bashed along while listening to Stiff Little Fingers.


Soon be able to get back to me Rebs, so today's toy is:


Time for a read.

G.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Crafts & Crap

Chris does crafting. Actually, she only makes cards; birthday, Christmas and the like, but she does it off and on and loves the creative bit. This means that each Sunday afternoon we're treated to a couple of hours of specialist sellavision with overweight women talking about various types of crafting and flogging stuff to the overheated viewers. The bulk of the items available are related to card making and rubber stamping. Rubber stamping? Yes, rubber stamping. It seems to involve stamping pictures or designs on a bit of card and colouring them in. Indispensable if you've got various types of invitation to make or things like that, but where's the skill? Kids with John Bull outfits used to do that and soon got bored. Want wedding invitations? Gerrem printed for God's sake!


Anyway, what I wanted to mention is the huge volume of sales that go through just of bits of card and tools and whatever, They must sell thousands of pounds worth of the stuff just while the programme is on air, not to mention continuing sales after the show. There must be a fortune to be made at this game. Now I admit that all this means nothing to me. If I want a card I go to Clinton's and buy one and I don't think I'll ever want to do anything with a rubber stamp, but even I've noticed that all this stuff looks the same. Chris has a modest store of the stuff; certainly no more that about half a metric tonne, but some people (and here I really mean women) must have aircraft hangars full of card and glues and decoupage kits and little stick on bits and bobs. They're killing the planet!

Hey, I actually received a comment to a post which I find amazing because I didn't really think people actually read this other than saddos like me who actually give a toss who else likes Tom Waits or has read Tristram Shandy. It's all quite flattering really that someone should take the time to post a comment. It won't go to m
y head and I'm pretty sure I'm not in the running for a Pulitzer, but it was a surprise. However, it does bring with it responsibility.

Should I reply to the comment? Will this guy think I'm being ignorant if I don't respond? Does he even want me to respond? I commented on another person's blog entry a few weeks ago and she replied, but I didn't carry on the conversation. Maybe I should have? I think I was probably happier when I thought nobody read these or that they did, but couldn't be bothered to comment. Imagine if everybody who read the postings commented . . . what would be the right thing to do?

My mate Frank replies to comments, but they're either questions or observations about his figures. That's pretty straight forward, but I don't actually produce anything; I just bash away at the keyboard when the mood takes me. Maybe in future I'll have to do this sort of thing regularly to keep up with the comments left by my readers?

I'm conscious that I might be going over the top here since I've only got evidence of one actual reader, or at least one who's bothered to comment, but you never know. My mate Woody Allen would have the same dilemma. I don't actually know Woody Allen, nor have I ever met him, but I've seen all his films and read a compilation of his writings, so I feel I do.

Hmmmmm . . . .

Anyway, I've been cracking on with some of Frank's leads so I thought I'd show you an example. It's a grenadier from the Prussian 41st regiment in the 7 Year's War. He needs lining in and a bit of touching up, but the figures are easy to paint and perfectly proportioned. Unfortunately Frank has mega sized units, so this is a long job.





G








Saturday, 16 February 2008

It's been a great year so far :O(

Having had to buy a new tyre, prepare for 'exciting' changes at work and various traumas with the kids, I had my nearside wheel trims stolen on Wednesday - right under the noses of security staff! Then on Thursday I popped the cartilage in my right knee again. 2008? Rammit!

My knee is up like a balloon and it's only liberal applications of arnica gel and a support bandage that keep it bearable. I ought to go to the hospital, but it's weekend and if they keep me in I'll have to hang around till Monday before they think about doing anything. The operation to remove it takes about 15 minutes and it's usually carried out as a day patient, so I might go to see the Doc and get a referral instead.

I'm not frightened of hospitals, but I hate being there just killing time with a bunch of other miserable sods who're in the same boat. Last time I was in I had a bed next to a priest who was such an arsehole. There were two older black guys across the ward who he treated like they had the plague. He spent my first night there tutting at me because I couldn't work out how to switch off my lamp. He had some Spanish acolyte round every morning to celebrate mass with him. No problem at all about the mass, but I felt like pointing out that such an arsehole ought to have a serious think about his vocation, the shit. He had a heart condition, so he's probably coughed it by now, with any luck.


Anyway, back to my knee. Might as well milk it for sympathy while I can. I've had the problem for about 40 years so you'd think I'd have had something done about it by now. I've tried, oh how I've tried, but the bloody medicos seem to be intensely loyal to it. I've had my other knee 'done' because I buggered it by overcompensating, but they're reluctant to do anything about the main culprit. If I do go to see them this time, they'll probably suggest I have a tooth out or something. The nursing staff always seem to have a lot more common sense than the doctors.

I was in the hospital for a week when I was in the navy and that was a hell of an experience. I'm not perpetually ill, by the way; just not very lucky. I teamed up with a bloke called Happy Merry; a marine engineer, and we seemed unable to stay out of trouble. Boredom mostly with only a pinch of devilment, but, if you know how to play the system, you can have a tolerable time.We used to go to the NAAFI shop for the rest of the ward and didn't even charge a commission for the trouble. We'd often go in wheelchairs because then you got straight to the front of the queue and hang the shopping off the back of them. We had to go on foot all the time after we had a spill on a tight corner on the way down to the shop and came close to getting confined to the ward. Happy days.


Oh yes, my knee. Well I'll give it until Monday and decide. I've got plenty of leave to use up at work, so I can even do it on the QT if I want to. MY boss is off at the moment too and I can always work online from home anyway. The weather's going to be beautiful this coming week (February has been very pleasant so far), so it seems to cry out for someone to show appreciation. In actual fact I'll probably obey the Protestant work ethic and keep my nose to the grind stone.

Anyway, enough of this. Today's toy:
A US fire team from the Vietnam War. Appropriate really as we've just passed the 40th anniversary of the Tet Offensive.

O.K. try to get some sleep.

G.





Monday, 11 February 2008

Hammerhead '08

Well, it had to happen: a posting mostly about wargaming.

Broke my duck and went to my first show of the year yesterday - Hammerhead at Kelham hall. I was there at bob on 10 of the clock and waited for Frank, but no sign, so went in and had a quick shufty, finally bumping in to him at half past; lazy git!


Had good natters with Tardis (and Mrs Tardis and Tardis Junior 2), Zippy, Charlie (and daughter, who I thought was really a fictional excuse for him buying dinosaurs a couple of years ago) and various other people Frank knew, one of whom let onto me again as I was dashing back for some Basetex, so I reckon I'm in there. Pongo was apparently due to attend, but didn't see him., and Matt was there too (who's Matt?). Got help from a bloke who was a woman: no, a woman who was a bloke. Anyway, he/she was a good egg and helped me spot some Vallejo paints. Nice chapess.

Shaun thingy was there with his 'Bunker' stuff and Dave Thomas who ONCE AGAIN hadn't got the American Riflemen (advancing). Told him I needed them for Wednesday and he's going to get on to the Perry Twins in New Zealand to get some cast up for me. Fine trader that boy.

I bought nothing but paint, Basetex and a likkul Roman general from Hasslefree called Minimus. He's going to be ME in my Late Roman army. Posed him with the rest of the command group figures and he'll look good: only about as tall as their shoulders. Frank broke all records and bought bugger all 'cept for half a dozen Miniature Paints (must include every shade of red known to the civilized world). However, he did give me about half my body weight in ACW leads, which was very kind of him, but fuckin' daft. These leads have a hell of a history and have done the cross U.K. several times between them. They've clocked up more carbon miles than a crate of bananas.

Views of the day?
  • A show you could do with giving a miss if you're a thoroughbred wargamer, except that there are some traders there you don't normally see. That was a concession to Tardis cos he's into fantasy and spaceships and the like.
  • Not all that many punters and few of them seemed intent on spending too much. There were a couple or three disabled people who at least had a chance to have a good look around at stuff, so it was fair do's for them (for a change).
  • Bar staff were quite attractive.
  • The bacon rolls were well loaded, but the 'cups' of tea are still a joke.
  • They actually had bouncers! Real ersatz roughie-toughies in blazers. What sort of thing could kick off at a bloody bisexual wargame/fantasysite/spaced out deviant show? Harsh words and shopping lists on the green?
Now, saving the best 'til last . . . Frank showed me his French and Austrian infantry masters and they're beautiful, I shit you not. Personally, I think they're even better than the Prussians. The Austrians are very businesslike, but not as ramrod straight as the Prussians and the French are excellent - just the right side of scruffy. Of the batch I like the Austrian fusilier best, but the French drummer is superb. Oh yeah, he showed me the greens for the British Grenadiers. They are, without qualification, the best 7YW figures I've ever seen. The British mitres have got to be seen to be believed.

I'm sure you feel all the better for reading that.


And today's toy is:



A soviet Commisar.


Anyway, off to try out that bloody carmine colour . . . .
G.