Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

The aftermath of the carol service

Last nights party was a roaring success, everyone was very impressed with the War Room and how the house has progressed. It was great to see everyone and the drinking, chatting, dancing and merriment lasted long into the night.  There was also some very nice wargaming related loot - which will have to wait for another post. 

Santa is on his way

I woke feeling slightly delicate - though Mrs Kinch who is made of sterner stuff had risen early. She advanced on the prostrate Kinch with eggs and bacon and list of jobs that needed to be done. We had a wonderful day. We took in the Nine Lesson & Carols service at Saint Patricks, where we got to see Mrs. Kinchs ten year old cousin sing for his first Christmas service. Then on to my parents where we swapped presents and had a rare old time.

All is well

I am reminded by Lee of what a pleasure it is to be part of such an electic bunch of bloggers. It has been a very up and down sort of year, but J&F has always provided me with somewhere to retreat to. It's been a pleasure reading you all this year and long may it continue.  If my rambling have offended, remember they are a story told by an idiot signifying nothing.

And if you really want to see how to write a Christmas blog entry - look no further. 

All that remains to do is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from Mrs. Kinch, Flashman, Sissi and I.

May God bless us every one.

And to all a good night. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Parcels & Progress

A surprise in the post from Young Master Gow

I was very happy to arrive home the other day to discover a parcel waiting for me from Young Master Gow, who took some time away from scrumping apples and skinning his knees on things to send me a surprise. This was a boxful of American Civil War spares in 1/72.  Now as it happens I have no intention of doing the War between the States in 20mm, however, I have learned from Carlo that there is an extraordinary number of mid 19th century European armies that can be produced using these figures and I will be sorting them with that in mind. 

Many thanks and the compliments of the season to Young Master Gow - I only hope he gets something just as nice underneath the tree. 

Which reminds me I still have pictures from Old John of some Danish ACW conversions to share with you. Must get weaving on that. 

A surprise for my father in law

My father in law told me a story while we were away about a particular cake that his mother used to bake that had white icing and that was always topped by an iceskating lady mounted on a small mirror. My father in law has been doing trojan work here at Chez Kinch and this seemed like a nice surprise and the least I could do considering all his hard work. The basic models is a ballerina from Prince August's Steadfast Tin Soldier set. Adding iceskates was actually the trickiest aspect of the conversion.  I tried wire, which looked odd, plastic card, which was far too big and then settled on paper, which worked. 

A hat and scarf were added with greenstuff and the base trimmed to sit an a small mirror. Mrs. Kinch sacrifised an old compact to provide the mirror and I gingerly levered it out without causing seven years bad luck for which I am very grateful. 

There has also been some more good news - 

- The War Room floor is finished. We have to wait 72 hours before the last coat of varnish can take "heavy traffic", but the long slog is finally over. Hurrah!

- Even better, there is a new addition to the extended family. Ed & Aoife have had baby Alexander, ten fingers and ten toes, all healthy and well. There is much rejoicing. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The couple that paints together

So there are paintbrushes flying in the Kinch household

I hadn't actually anticipated that these would be as awkward to paint at they proved to be.  Unlike most normal flats they don't have a base, so there isn't really anywhere one can hold them that doesn't take paint. I'm just working in shifts and flipping them as needs be. 

Fortunately, Mrs. Kinch has her eye on something a little more sensible (to say nothing of easier to paint) for next year. 

And speaking of Mrs Kinch. 

Three coats of varnish done, one to go!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas in the Kinch household

Floor completely washed and stained

There's been precious little time for blogging of late as Christmas is in full swing here at the Kinch household. Due to a minor miracle of rosters falling right, my rest days fall directly on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day, so for the first time in seven years I won't be working in some capacity on Christmas Day.  Mrs. Kinch is really excited and we're hoping to make the most of what will be a very, very rare occurence.  My folks will be joining us for Christmas dinner and we're pushing to get a lot of things done in the house in the meantime. 

Amongst these are the floor in the War Room, which is awaiting it's first of several coats of stain.  I'm very happy about this and I think it's going to look very well indeed. With a bit of luck it should be finished in time. There is a lot of picture hanging to be done.

Mrs Kinch is very happy with how the kitchen is coming along (note new tiles in background of picture below) and it looks like we should have two rooms pretty much finished this year. 

Taking a leaf out of Ross's, Mosstroopers and many others books. 

One of the joys of clearing out is finding things that you've forgotten. I found my Prince August moulds the other day and I've started casting again.  It's funny how the old tricks of the trade, like venting the mould, warming it and using copious amounts of talc, all come flooding back after five minutes casting. 

Not Father Christmas
"I am not a Jolly Man"

And speaking of the Christmas spirit, I recieved this from JB over at Lead Plague just before we went to Germany.  It's an old Adeptus Mechanicus figure from Citadel.  JB is a fine fellow mostly usually found on the Oldhammer Forum and I'd picked this chap up on Ebay with some other bits and pieces. JB was looking for a figure that I had a double of, but found himself short of something to trade. I said that if he painted one of my figures that would be ample. You can see some more examples of JBs painting skills over at his blog

JB not only painted the figure I sent him, but also found something that was on my own wants list and sent that as well. I would have been very happy with my friend above, my lousy photography not really doing justice to JBs lovely paintwork, but to get another figure as well. The Freemasonry of the hobby is certainly alive and well in France. What a generous gift. 

There are no toys in this sack

This fellow will be stomping around the swamps and space stations of a certain Dark Future in the New Year. I've grown quite fond of playing Rogue Trader, just throwing a few figures together and coming up with a story. It's a very pleasent way of spending some time with friends who don't really care for historicals. 

Thanks again JB. 

What I've been casting

When Mrs Kinch saw these moulds she immediately started hatching cunning plans. As a result I've been casting like the Krupp iron works all evening.  I am pleased with the result though and painted examples will be gracing these pages soon. 

Phew! There's a lot of work in this Christmas stuff. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Haben Sie Gehort Das Deutsche Band!

Haben Sie Gehort Das Deutsche Band? 

Mrs. Kinch and I have just returned from Germany where we had a wonderful time. We spent most of it drinking gluhwein and buying the odd Christmas decoration.  Hanover was a bit of a washout as Hurricane Xaver meant that everything closed.  We managed to find a relatively secure gluhweine spot and watched the snow billowing.  Mrs Kinch was completely enchanted with all the lights and stalls and music. 

When we arrived in Berlin, I nipped off to Berlin Zinnfiguren. What a wonderful place! I was surprised that there were so many books. It was great to see, but I managed to keep my wallet under control. I got Mrs Kinch some painted flats that are Christmas decorations. The stuff I was interested in was so expensive that I could legitimately look at it without desiring it. The only other thing I was tempted by was a Prince August crib set - trust me to travel to Germany and fancy something from Cork!

While we were wandering around Hanover, we came across this Steif bear window display, complete with marching bears. 

Just before the storm hit, we went to the medieval market near the Market Kirk. It was quite lovely with lots of folk in costume.  There were a variety of stalls, one of which was a stall where one could shoot a crossbow for a small fee. My father in law and I gave it a whirl.

All I could think of was that we would never get away with this at home...

...someone would definitely end up with a quarrel in the eye.

Ernst August of Hanover

And curiously enough 3rd Earl of Armagh, though he was the last Hanoverian monarch to hold a title from the British Isles. 

A medieval scene in flats from Berlin Zinnfiguren - beautiful, but an eye watering €445

While we were away it was extremely cold and it started to snow. Snow is something of a novelty to Irish people, I've seen it at home three times in thirty three years. 

While we were walking through Hanover, it began to snow and Mrs Kinch was so happy she started to dance. I managed to get one picture, but I think this may be my favourite picture of her. 

A Panzer Nashorn or Armoured Rhino 

Unfortunately we were unable to go to Hanover Zoo, which is excellent, and to which we have been before because of the hurricane. So we went to Berlin Zoo instead. We rather like zoos on the whole and are quite lucky to have one of the best in Europe in Dublin. Sadly, Berlin Zoo is not quite up to that standard, but we did have a good time. We saw some interesting animals, though I thought the big cat and elephant enclosures were very, very small.

I was particularly taken with this armoured rhino which was an animal I'd never heard of.

And suddenly Durer's rhino who I always thought was a bit fanciful makes a great deal more sense.  

If you've ever wonderful what a baby rhino tantrum sounds like - it sounds a bit like this. The small rhino is a year old and isn't happy about being weaned. 

Mrs Kinch running away from an ornamental bear


Fatou, the matriarch of the Berlin band of gorillas. She looks rather well don't you think? 


One doesn't like to ask a lady's age, but these things are done differently in Germany.   

Sally Bowles screamining under a bridge while a train passes over head. 

I read "Goodbye to Berlin" by Christopher Isherwood in my early twenties and it formed my entire picture of Berlin, even Len Deighton's Harry Palmer hasn't managed to wrest my imagination from its grip. It was only when I met Mrs Kinch when I was 24 that I learned of the musical and the film of the book.   


We had to wait ages for a train...

Because of the hurricane, our time was brief and my trip to the Zeughaus museum (where they do not allow photographs) was very brief. The day after we got to go to Charlottenberg, the palace built by Frederick the Great's mum, Sophie Charlotte. It is an extraordinary place and worth a blog entry in itself. I shall glide over some of the highlights here. 

The palace contains a vast collection of ceramics, including a great deal of chinoiserie. This particular display is only a very small part of a huge room completely covered in china. 

A picture of Alte Fritz himself hanging at the entrance to the palace's chapel. 

General Zieten of Waterloo fame. 

"I like it, but I don't think it would go with the carpet in the parlour." Mrs Kinch examining the furniture, it was rather cold hence my jacket. I doubt she will thank me for putting this picture up. 

I have no idea who this chap is - there was something of a shortage of labels.

Our last meal in Berlin and probably our best, this place was amazing. The interior is a glittering Art Deco confection and the food was superb. It was a wonderful end to a really enjoyable trip.