Sunday, October 30, 2016

British Paratroopers

A collection of prone figures - a PIAT gunner, a rifleman and a Bren gunner

I've had a chance to a little bit of painting over the last few weeks. I've been chipping away a few British paratroopers. I managed to put together sixty or so out of  the plastic stash. These are a mix of Revell and ESCI and I'm quite happy with how they've turned out. 

A PIAT gunner and rifleman take aim

The figures were washed in the dishwasher, then based. I gave each one a coat of PVA and they were then undercoated in white. They were painted in slightly watered down Vallejo acrylic. 

An officer, a radio man and two squaddies. 

I'll mostly be using these for Memoir '44 which has quite a few scenario featuring British paras. Unfortunately, I have not yet got a figure with an umbrella - but wheels are in motion. 

A mix of ESCI and Revell poses. 

Unusually for me, these aren't painted according to instructions from the Battlefront website.  I have some painting instructions scrawled on the back of an envelope, which I presumably got some somewhere - but where exactly is lost to the ravenous sands of time. 

Nameless wargamer - whose notes I have followed.  I salute you Sir. You are a boon to your fellow man and I only regret that I cannot give credit where credit is due.  

The camouflage was a bit of a struggle as I detest painting it, but needs must where the Devil drives and all that.  I just gritted my teeth and ploughed on.  The figures were given a water down wash of Devlin mud as the original colour was quite stark.  I think it's done the trick. 

I particularly like the Bren pose. 

The cats bedroom has changed somewhat
(I must get a lamp shade)

Paratroopers aren't the only things being painted around here at the moment. Sir Harry Flashman's bedroom has changed a little bit - but he seems to be adapting rather well.  Hopefully the new arrivals will like it. 

Another new arrival

This was the most recent new arrival - presumably an advance party. He answers to the name Johann Sebastian Bark.  I think he'll fit in just fine. 

In the mean time, we've been sorting out some pictures for the new room. Probably the most important bit really. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Arthur & Gordon

Arthur (left) and Gordon (right) locked in mortal combat

I'm looking forward to impending fatherhood, but its certainly been a demanding task master.  Mrs Kinch has had a hard time of it, both physically and mentally. Multiple hospital stays have taxed us both, but as we get closer to D-Day things are looking hopeful.  CODENAME ARTHUR & GORDON are hale and hearty, are possessed of the appropriate number of fingers and toes and will be appearing relatively shortly. Albeit not quite as shortly as Mrs Kinch would wish. 

We don't actually know whether they are boys or girls yet and settled on Arthur and Gordon because Twin 1 and Twin 2 just didn't sound right.  

We were at a dinner party and I was asked if we'd given any thought to girls names.  This put me on the spot, as I didn't want to be rude, but it's a matter where we've been playing our cards very close to our chests. So, I said that while "Stephen Sondheim Sir Arthur Wellesley Gordon of Khartoum Kinch" was not a family name, it was certainly traditional and we liked it. 

Somehow Arthur and Gordon stuck.  

As for whether they are boys or girls, my money is on one or the other. I'm hoping for one of each, but that's mainly because I'm terribly indecisive. 

(artists impression, taken from life) 

I've had to cut back on my writing (blog and otherwise) of late, not least because we've been in and out of hospitals, but also because I sustained a head injury in work just over a month ago.  It's made things a bit more difficult, as it is harder to focus and concentrate on tasks. The headaches are definitely getting better. I will never, ever complain about another hangover so long as I live, but I'll be moving a little bit more slowly than usual. Recovery is taking rather longer than we'd hoped.   I'm finding it more difficult to marshal my mental resources and having to ration my attention accordingly. 

That I'm afraid, is why I haven't written up our Barbarossa campaign report or several of the other things that readers very kindly written and inquired about.  I will get to them in time. I have also taken the opportunity to dress up a few old pieces that I had written, but hadn't finished over the years. 

Rest assured J&F will continue chugging along, just at a slightly more leisurely pace than usual. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Farewell Bluebear Jeff

Bluebear Jeff of Saxe Bearstein passed away recently. May perpetual light shine upon him and may he know peace. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Casting session

The closest I get to competent DIY

A few weeks ago (actually over a month ago at this stage)* , I pulled out the old casting equipment and set to.  I will be busy come November, so I thought I'd try and get a head start on the Christmas casting. 

The Holy Families gathering 

Mrs Kinch got me a Nativity set for Christmas last year and hinted rather firmly that she would like one cast for this year.  I would like to make one for my Godmother as well, I thought I better get weaving.  I got quite a bit done and even snuck in a few Guardsmen towards the end. 

I have gotten a little better at casting and will work up the courage to vent a mould any day now.  I have started warming the moulds in the oven before hand which seems to help some of the flow problems.  It is certainly more effective than allowing the moulds to warm up through use. Another little lesson learned. 

Every day is a school day. 

*Entries are at Joy & Forgetfulness are written as and when I feel like it. And published in much the same way. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Eagle & the Hedgehog

A scene from a hedgehog internment camp

Today, I have mostly been making hedgehogs.  This may seem like a strange occupation for a man of thirty six. However, Mrs. Kinch has longed for a hedgehog  these many long years.  Encouraging  hedgehogs to live in your garden is apparently the best, cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to keep slugs out of your garden.  Or at least ensuring those slugs that do make it inside your garden end up in a hedgehog. 

I'm not so sure about the environmentally friendly part.  I'm pretty sure Mrs Kinch would resort to napalm and firing squads if she thought it would solve her slug problem. 

Sadly, the only hedgehogs available for sale are African pygmy hedgehogs, which don't like the cold and are ludicrously expensive.  The home grown equivalent do not thrive when restricted to a walled garden as they need to roam freely for distances of up to a mile. 

Curiously well traveled creature, the Irish Hedgehog. 

So while it appears that Mrs Kinch is willing to practically anything to deal with slugs; she is unwilling to intern hedgehogs. 

The Lesser Spotted French Hedgehog

The hedgehogs I've been working on is the Lesser Spotted French Hedgehog. This is somewhat larger than the Irish variety and no where near as cute. I believe they originated in Germany, but I'm no naturalist. Young Gorman has been making D-Day like noises of late and sadly, such things require plenty of the above.  I has a set from Italeri, but they were sadly fragile things and broke practically as soon as I'd put them together.  I was profoundly unimpressed.  

Looking at the Memoir '44 scenarios in question, I realised that I'd need nineteen of the benighted things and that excluded many of the commercial options.  I simply wasn't willing to spend that kind of money. I needed something that looked the part, was cheap and was robust. 

I took a snips to some old GW sprues I had lying around. Trimmed them until they were roughly straight and cut them to size. They took polystyrene cement rather well.

Say what you like about Games Workshop, their plastic is rock solid. I left these overnight and they are solid as a rock. Time for a quick blast of black spray, a drybrush of gun metal and possibly some kind of wash of rust? 

In the mean time have a gander at this thing, a rocket ship which Young Savage is building for his heir. 

Which bears a remarkable resemblance to a certain famous rocket ship of days gone by. 

Why is the hedgehog wearing sun glasses?  Because Kinch made a hash of
 drawing his eyes. That's why. 

Now, no mention of hedgehogs could go by without Mrs. Kinch's hedgehog story. Some time ago, when Mrs Kinch was a small Kinch, such a small Kinch in fact, she wasn't even a Kinch yet, she was sent to a German school.  Mrs. Kinch is Irish and grew up in Ireland, but there was a strong chance that her family would be moving to Germany, so her parents decided that it would be no harm for her to get a head start on the language. 

So in school, she made something that looked a little bit like the hedgehog above, though probably considerably better.  I'm led to believe that the eggshells were stuck down with craft glue and there may have been gold stars involved. Records from that time are sketchy at best, but I choose to believe that my future wife produced a prince amongst hedgehogs.  She arrived home and proudly announced to her parents. 

"Mummy, look, I made an eagle!"

They told her it was very nice, but that it wasn't an eagle and she got rather upset.  Her father got very annoyed, "What the hell are we sending her to that school for? This is some pretty basic stuff."

And she became more tearful and distressed, 

An Eagle. 

"Mummy, look, I made an eagle!"

They told her it was very nice, but that it wasn't an eagle and she got rather upset.  Her father got very annoyed, "What the hell are we sending her to that school for? This is some pretty basic stuff."

And she became more tearful and distressed, but was absolutely adamant that she had made an eagle and not a hedgehog.  It was only after a further twenty minutes of argument, some throwing things and full blown tantrum - that Mrs Kinch's German speaking father suddenly realised what was going on.  His daughter was not suffering from some kind of mental illness, nor had she made an eagle. 

An Igel

She had made an igel or a hedgehog in German and had never heard the word hedgehog in English. 

And with that cautionary tale about of the many perils of bi-lingualism, I shall wish you all a good night. 

*And I know I will.