Saturday, July 15, 2017

A painter once again



Trooper Hobbes 

Babies, physiotherapy and all the other demands on my time have left little time for painting.  My eyes are functioning quite well these days, but the problem is stamina*.  Close work is quite taxing and I find myself saving that for writing work at present.  However, the yen to paint was on me quite fiercely a little while ago and I pulled this chap out of the box. A Rogue Trader era Squat Trooper, I think he is a Bob Olley sculpt. 

I decided that this should be Trooper Hobbes of the Imperial Army.  The name came to mind as he is nasty, brutish and short and the rest followed on from there. 






Ready to zap things for the Emperor 

Going back to painting after such a long time away was actually quite intimidating, but after some great help and encouragement from JB over at the Lead Plague blog, I got over the hump.  Another excellent example of the Freemasonry of the hobby. JB helped me pick colours which would work together, something I'm usually hopeless at.  Since so many of my figures are historicals, there is rarely much choice in how to approach them.  Total freedom tends to breed a sort of analysis paralysis. Many thanks JB. 



Stylishly turned out for the battlefield of the 41st Millenium

Trooper Hobbes is a recent addition to the Imperial Army, which he enjoys for the regular meals and the possibilities for violence.  I do not think that the officer that tries to tell him that his natty white gloves and boots are "not regulation" will have a good time of it. 



This way towards enemy

I'm very pleased with how he turned out.  It was an evenings work and cost me a blinding headache, but I was determined to finish him.  With a bit of luck, he may get some pals in the near future. 


*Ahem...that's what she said. *hilarity ensues, calls for order, much merriment, etc* 

Saturday, July 1, 2017



Well done chaps. Do keep it up. 


Friday, June 30, 2017

Turkish Command


The Pasha taking his ease, accompanied by pipe bearers

The most recent additions to the Conrad Kinch Red Fez repertory company are these Strelets Crimean Turks which were painted for me by the ever talented Tamas.  These fellows will be doing duty in my Turkish Crimean army and my 1880 Egyptian army. 




The view from the rear

One of the joys of Strelets sets is the additional "character" figures that you get mixed in with the more usual stuff.  I think they really add something to a table layout and make it look a bit more alive. 




I really like the depth of colour Tamas has managed to 
get on the frogging and epaulets. 



Recent CCTV footage from Kinch Court


In other news, in a previous post I wrote that my physiotherapist was asking me to twerk as part of my therapy.  Physio is going well and I am improving.  It's always a slow process and I am very lucky to be seeing a doctor who has managed to bring on such improvement.  

So I was lying when I wrote that he asked me to twerk.  Or to put it more correctly, I was joking and exaggerating for comic effect.  The exchange I described in my blog was accurate, right up until that point. Twerking has no therapeutic purpose in dealing with balance injuries and I do not include it in my daily exercises. 

I do it mainly for fun, the many health benefits and of course, to set a good example for the children.  




The local Imam giving it socks

The last figure that Tamas did is this fella, an Imam who will be seeing service in the Crimea, Egypt and possible Afghanistan before too long.  He's the first non-Christian clergyman I've added to my collection of miniature clerics.  

I wonder who will be next?

Monday, June 26, 2017

A recent trip to the physiotherapist

Image from Wikipedia. 


CK: *walking back and forth while waving one of his hands in front of his face* You know, your profession must be a terrible temptation for a practical joker.
P: Oh yes. It's a tough one some times, particularly if they're not the nicest patient. I mean you tell people to pat their head and rub their belly or pull faces in the mirror and they'll do it.
CK: *staring at X painted on a window while shaking his head from side to side* Really?
P: Really. That's the thing with physio, people with muscle injuries...it's hard to get them to do their exercises. People with balance injuries, they really stick to it. They will do anything.
CK: *standing on one leg and sticking one finger up his nose and one in his ear* Gosh.
P: Yup. Now stare at this X draw on the card and twerk for the next thirty seconds or until you feel dizzy.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dutchmen in space



Some stalwart Hollanders

I played the Quatre Bras scenario from Command & Colours Napoleonics with Sydney recently.  He is determined to learn how to use the British and their allies properly.  The game was a 9-6 win for the perfidious French and a full report will follow soon. 

However, what it did bring home to me was the fact that a goodly proportion of my Allied troops were still using blu tac'd bits of paper as unit labels rather than the rather nicer versions Capability Savage has put together.  Cue rattling through my boxes and drawing up lists and looking at uniform references as I've forgotten what regiments belong to. It's a nice little job that I can rattle along with between baby wrangling sessions. 

It's also brought home to me how Peninsula focused my uniform references are.  I'm good on Russia 1812 and after, the Peninsula and the broad strokes of most of the national armies (i.e. I can generally tell one from another) but I would struggle to identify individual regiments. 

More labels is probably a good idea then. 







In other news, I've been watching "The Expanse" on Netflix and very good it is too.  It's a multi-stranded look at a future in which Mankind has colonised the Solar System, but remains divided against itself.  Earth and Mars are at odds and "the Belt" (essentially everywhere else) is caught in the middle.  It's a slow starter and the first few episodes spend a long time setting out their stall, but the Expanse is good old fashioned science fiction about ideas and frankly that is thin on the ground these days. 

Highlights include the wonderful Shohreh Aghdashloo who plays a ruthless Terran politician with dash and aplomb. She is magnificent throughout.  Thomas Jane does a great turn as a conflicted and corrupt copper - a limited man struggling against his environment and his nature.  The rest of the cast are not bad by any means, but these two shine very brightly indeed.  Aghdashloo in particular puts me in mind of Dumas's Richelieu  - that antagonist-not antagonist, the likeable adversary and the compromised friend. It is a nuanced performance that accomplishes a great deal in relatively limited screen time.  I'm torn between a desire for more of her and the knowledge that such  would inevitably dilute the power of whats there.

Great stuff - and thankfully because its Netflix it is only ten episodes, so it dodges that usual American bullet of overstaying its welcome by being a million years (or twenty two episodes) long.  

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Some staff wallahs


The War Correspondent

I took delivery of these chaps a few months ago.  I haven't a bean where they came from exactly, they were in a box of waifs and strays that I got from John Cunningham and I thought I'd add a few eccentrics to my gentlemen in red. 

This chap will be doing double duty as a war correspondent and possibly a staff officer as and when he is needed.  In fact in the late 19th century, those roles often overlapped as officers would write letters home for publication, Winston Churchill being one famous example. 

Illustration by Michael Roffe, from Wilkinson Latham's Osprey on the Sudan

I had the idea of a game where players are on the same side, but are competing with each other for victory points.  They have limited control over the war correspondent, but he acts as a victory point multiplier. In essence, he exaggerates what ever is actually occurring on the field.  So if you gain two victory points for defeating the enemy or gaining an objective and the correspondent is there, you will gain a third point.  But if you lose points, due to casualties for example, the correspondent will cost you an extra point for every two you lose.  Consequently, if you think your competitor is going to have a bad time of it, it would be wise to send the correspondent over his way. 

An idea to mull over. 


One of the cavalry gentlemen

The vast majority of my late Victorian army is in red coats because I rather like redcoats and even when they are inaccurate they are what I think of when I think on the period.  I think it's the equivalent of always deploying my Napoleonic armies in parade dress.  But I thought it would  a good idea for the senior officers and staff chaps to stand out a bit.  This fella will be doing duty as a staff officer, perhaps an interpreter, in scenarios to come. 

I should point out that these are not my own work, but come from the ever talented brush of Mr. Tamas Lehoczky of Hungary.  A fellow 1/72 enthusiast, I think his impressionistic, high contrast style works exceedingly well in this scale.  The photos don't quite do it justice, but the highlights do a lot of the work and that look very tasty on the tabletop.  

An image I found on Pinterest, unfortunately I can't put a name to the source. 


*incomprehensible Scottish noises*
(perhaps Mr. Gow would be kind enough to translate?)

This is an old Hinton Hunt sculpt again from the redoubtable John C. In this case, I don't think the camera has been kind to Tamas's excellent brushwork as the red in the tartan stands out rather more than it does on the tabletop. Regardless, I expect McLehoczky of the Fife McLehoczky's to fall upon the enemies of the Crown with all the claymore wielding fury of his alcoholic Australian forebears. 


 
Another image I found on Pinterest
(Tamas was going to add the extra mustache, but ran out of greenstuff)

Pinterest is a mine of stuff, though often badly referenced, but it would be the act of louse to complain about something one has not paid for.  From the pictures I found with this image - it should refer to India in the 1890s.  The main thing is that he looks the part and cuts a dash and that's good enough for me. 



Portrait of the Artist as a young Sloth

In other news, we discovered that young Teddy Kinch was adopted.  It was a surprise to us all, not least his mother, but there you are. The poor little chap had terrible trouble with wind. To be honest we could call him Kamikaze Kinch, though the wind in question is of doubtful divinity. 

Kamikaze Kinch becomes great distressed until placed over one knee and gently, but firmly pounded on the back for a few minutes.  There is then a long drawn out PAAAARP  like a sad trombone, followed by a small sigh, whereupon he goes completely limp for hours at a time.  

It was a strange way to discover that my son was part sloth. 

But we shall love him and raise him as our own. 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cuirassier at the Retreat from Moscow


Paris is that way

Life here at Kinch Court has been rattling along as usual.  The Kinchlets are ever a delight, albeit a somewhat sticky and malodorous delight at times. Lack of time and the problem with my eyesight has made painting a very occasional pleasure, however, I can still enjoy the fruits of others labours.

Our man in Hungary sent this fine fellow several months ago and he is currently guarding one of the bookshelves in the library. The kit is from of MB and is an unusual piece.  Generally it's up to the model maker to create the scene, but this one comes as you see it.



Makes me shiver even looking at it

Victory has a thousand fathers while defeat is an orphan as the Chinese saying goes, but I'd be confident in saying that the 1812 campaign marked the beginning of the end for the Napoleonic domination of Europe.  It's not an aspect of the period that I know enough about, but I will have to address that once I can really read again. 

Our man in Budapest has definitely done an excellent job though.  The horse in particular is a delight.  I was almost tempted to add a small wisp of teddy bear stuffing to the figures, to show their breath - but would be gilding the lilly.  His work stands on its own. 

The level of detail and shading on the colours is excellent


Sir Harry Flashman VC is going to begin a new and exciting chapter in his life

Otherwise the days are just packed, but with those small family dramas and pleasures that are of interest to those concerned in them and to few others.  One thing that I have done is dig out one of the novels  that I wrote before I started my current job.  The thing is broadly speaking in publishable form, has been edited within an inch of its life and Capability Savage has done some really topping work on the layout and such.  

Mrs Kinch has been literally and figuratively kicking me in the seat of the pants to get some of it into print and she has finally won the day.  

I've never had great luck with fiction.  I've always written it, but I've never really had any success with getting it published.  To be honest, the idea of letting it out into the wild is making me slightly queasy.  The idea that my baby will be heading out into the cold cruel world on its own is unsettling. Not least because it may not be any good - it may be the same when it is time to send the children to school.  Presumably it will be worse, but for all that expect to see a book with my name on it appearing for sale relatively soon.  



Speaking of books, our cuirassier has taken up his post defending the bookshelves from the barbarians.