Train (missing)

A musical interlude:

The second encore from the Albert Hall gig by the Sisters of Mercy in 1985:

Why isn’t the last encore included on ‘Wake’, the film of the Royal Albert Hall concert in 1985?

By the time we hit the stage for the last encore, some of the necessary machines had been switched off.
Various film technicians had decided that we’d finished. Andrew had been performing with a couple of cracked ribs, and he had indeed decided to finish, but Lemmy was in the dressing room to convince him that another encore was in order. After a short discussion and a multilateral assessment of all the available pharmaceuticals, the band hit the stage again – but too speedily for the aforementioned technicians.

There was some audio-visual material from the last encore, but Polygram “lost it” shortly after the film was edited and released.

Now all I have to do is work out where my Train is going for the BoB scenario on the 31st !


In the RCW/BoB genre, armoured trains feature a fair amount in the bibliography but rarely on the table. Years ago, I bought the Brigade Games rolling stock (not all of it!) and now I am hosting big BoB games, wanted to roll it out.

So here’s the juicy Armoured train. All 12 inches of it (oo-er).

The resin features such as the rungs were fragile, one broke off when I picked it up.
So taking it to Byakhee Richard’s pining service, a lot was replaced with brass rod.

The three turrets, all armed with artillery guns and HMGs were all magnetised. The wheel bogies also got some attention to cope with some modest curves in the track.

The photos show it on the little S Gauge track I have acquired.

If I thought that wargames suppliers were retrograde in terms of commercial service, then my eyes have been opened by the sheer unwillingness of railway model suppliers to have decent websites, decent catalogues and their sheer unwillingness to actually respond to e-mails and telephone calls in order to sell their wares.

More rolling stock to follow, plus my own painting efforts.

Look, Squirrel !

I’ve not posted anything because my internet and telephone connection has been intermittant or totally absent these last 4 days.

The BT engineer came round, and she sat under my desk for 30 minutes checking the line out, replacing the socket and generally trying to find the fault. The connection came back yesterday (but slow), disappeared in the evening (no telephone dial tone) and is back again today.

Sitting at the computer doing some spreadsheets, I spotted a squirrel race across my front lawn, and hurl itself at the window of my study and bounce off. Then it did it again. As it was a hot day, it had a third attempt, and used the open window section, which is no more than four foot from where I was sitting.

As you can see it didn’t quite make this audacious attempt to break in, and it woke BlackJack up (bottom lefthand side at the bottom of the curtain), who proceeded to chase the squirrel off into the garden.

Satan's Emmisary on Earth

BlackJack also distracted me last night, when after a community meeting, he brought home another rabbit. This time he got smart, and growled at me when I tried to remove the said new friend from him. Eventually we compromised, and he went outside to eat it.

Now, the Look Squirrel argument, is one often used by climate change deniers to distract normal people with a totally spurious argument, an irrelevant article, or a set of cherry picked data that disagree with the mainstream science. To an extent, this posting is along those lines as I have not posted anything for several days.

Quite by coincidence, I had also pulled out my TV/DVD/Video set up to paint behind it ! So I couldn’t watch anything on TV either. (Couldn’t put the TV back as the gloss paint was still not dry)

That said, my loss of connectivity to the internet, and more importantly to the telephone network was real and disturbing.

We take our connectivity for granted these days in a way that 10-20 years ago would have been unhread of. I felt quite at a loss of what to do. Fortunately, my pets and local wildlife filled the gap in my life. I ended up going to bed earlier, reading a book before turning the light out and doing the sort of stuff we all normally did 20 years ago. Yet that was the norm back then.

What it has meant is that I am painting figures again. There’s no point staring at a slow internet connection, might as well go and do a layer of paint on a squad/HMG unit.

Now the connection and phone are working again, I promptly went out to Richard’s, to collect a lot of stuff he has been pining for me for the BoB game on the 31st. Some eye candy to follow.

AGW: False Balance in the media

Something that irritates me is False Balance in the media on AGW and climate change:

False balance, also referred to as false equivalence, is a real or perceived media bias, where journalists present an issue as being more balanced between opposing viewpoints than the evidence actually supports. Journalists may present evidence and arguments out of proportion to the actual evidence for each side, or may censor information which would establish one side’s claims as baseless.

So, with numerous studies showing 97% of those actively studying the climate expressing their personal opinion, AND, 97%+ of the papers publishedconfirming AGW, why do we get a false balance on TV, and other media outlets ?

You get the idea.

More Emulsion Paint

I started painting the First Corps buildings and some more tree stumps, using Foundry as the base colour and soon realised that I was going to run out of Bay Brown paint. As I had also used up all my general purpose adhesive, and was low on stupid glue, I decided to pop into town and visit B&Q (big UK DIY chain for loyal overseas readers, and rebel colonists).

My local B&Q store has had a makeover in the last couple of weeks, and their paint section has been extensively been revamped. As well as more paints, the paint mixing desk has been expanded and a new supplier with a much larger range brought in. After a quick mooch round I chose a paint mix that was closest to Bay Brown.

As you can see the tester pot (only about £3), makes the paint look more reddish than Bay brown. Both the B&Q staff member, and a random customer assurred me that when it dried it would be closer to the colour of the tester card. As I have used these services before both at B&Q and Travis Perkins (a UK builders merchant) I wasn’t unduely worried.

Here’s the results.
There is a slight difference that the trained eye can spot. On a wargames table, you won’t notice the subtle shade difference.

As this is Emulsion paint, not Acrylic paint, I was concerned about the Emuslsion clogging the fine detail of the scenery. As you can see I’ve tried it on both the building and the tree stumps. For scenery, this paint is ok. I have not yet tried it on figures and would be a bit wary to do so. But for scenery purposes, even stepping up from my previous use on flat surfaces, it seems this paint is ok when used carefuly. I didn’t use the paint in the same way as I have been using the emulsion paint on my walls – so be careful.

Naughty Cats

As well as the Rabbit that BlackJack brought in, both of my cats have unfortunately been bringing in birds and in particular fledglings in various states of dismemberment and distress.

This one did not survive.

This one did. A Thrush fledgling.

Something I was taught some time ago was to (after removing cat from scene), was to toss a towel or blanket over the bird/rodent. They normally freeze on the spot, so you can then gather up the towel with bird/wildlife within and take them to a safe place outside.

In my case I have some hanging baskets, so for most birds they’re ideal. For rodents, close the doors and release them close to a hedge.

Unfortunately, leaving the Cat Door (aka my kitchen bay window) open allowed Timmy our village’s resident feline nuisance (is there another type of cat ?) to visit to consume my cats’ food. However, I am well versed in the relative kerr thump of my cats coming in through the window, so I trapped Timmy in my kitchen for 10 minutes during which his howls grew louder and louder. Cruel but necessary to remind him I really don’t want him in my house – I’ve found him upstairs before now !

Wargamers have also found cats interfere in their games, and my cats certainly have featured in many postings and pictures before now.

I may have to get a table such as this. Follow the link for an example of a cat using this table.

Naughty cats indeed !

Support Weapons in Cover

Now I’ve made a big thing of my CD scenery bases being great to add scatter scenery to the games table(s). The drawback of them are that support weapons such as HMGs and Artillery don’t fit well with them.

That doesn’t look good does it ?

Seeing as I have been given 150+ CDs, my brain cell had an idea (it didn’t set off the smoke alarm so its hardly radical).

As I use standard size bases for my support weapons (HMGs, Mortars etc) and standard sized bases for my field guns/artillery, I checked that a CD base would enclose them in cover – Yes they do.

Even for artillery, and I also have started labelling the dozens of CD bases of scenery so my players can pack them away properly (hint)

So I set about putting together some bases for the forthcoming BoB game. As I have 8+ players I needed to check the concept and then do 8 or so of each as most of the factions/players would require one of each at some stage. the off cuts of the mats were used as tufts of long grass. They were glued straight to the CD bases because of the thick rubber backing. The sand and flock covers this up. The rest of the bushes and static grass was added on top as normal.

There’s the finished example for a support weapon.

And for an artillery piece.

Players will be able to put the weapons in cover, and have an aesthetically pleasing item, not something balanced on top of other scenery etc.

16 CD bases later I’m posting this…hence the hiatus for a bit because I really don’t think photographing 16 inDUHvidual bases is worth the bandwidth. 🙂

I’ll be doing similar bases for AVBCW stuff as well.

Yes JP, I’ll do some for you too. 😉