Seasons Greetings and Happy New Year!

I may be a bit late with my New Year blog and end of year review but better late than not at all, I guess. I had hesitated when trying to decide how I would write a review of the year, hence the late entry. There have been some challenging times during 2021 that I have had to navigate. It felt like that even in a modelling blog, I should set my hobby in the context of some of these events. After much thought I have decided against this approach. Those that know me personally will be aware of them and those that don’t, will not need to hear of the personal challenges that I faced. I am sure that they have had plenty of their own ‘dragons’ to slay.

One consistent help through all of the year has been my hobby. It provides me with a respite and escape from the ‘real world’ and some semblance of control over at least a small part of it. I can only wish that you enjoy your hobby as much as I do and derive the same sense of satisfaction. So without further introspection and with time to fill on a rainy Saturday morning, here’s how I spent my time at the hobby work bench in 2021.

The Gaming year continued to be dominated by ‘Never Mind The Bill Hooks’. Although I had thought that my WOTR army was complete, I still continued to add to it. Without the need to produce units for actual gaming, I was free to take on some side projects such as Artillery, Baggage wagons and some of the more unusual troop types.

Bombard complete!
Completed Landsknechts
The finished Kern War band
The ox cart for my baggage train

As well as the War of The Roses, my attempt to paint all of the miniatures that came with the Part work/magazine ‘Battle games in Middle Earth’ continued. As of last night, I had reached magazine number 16 and completed Ugluk, the Uruk Hai Captain. He is pictured below – not quite finished as the basing needs to be completed. I’ve also pictured some of my other models for this collection.

Saruman – issue 14
Ugluk – with his bren carrier….

As you can see, I am also gradually adding to my Word War Two collection. This year, I added a Cromwell, Churchill and Beaverette Armoured Car as well as a couple of Home Guard units – A Northover Projector and a Blacker Bombard.

Churchill ready for action.
Beaverette Armoured Car

Ny Napoleonic collection wasn’t entirely forgotten. I added some commanders, a Vignette and a Battalion of KGL.

Secure the Colour!
New Command bases added.
8th Battalion KGL

And finally, I manged to paint Mr Giraffe, who had been stood on the workbench for over two years…

Mr Giraffe!

Those are just some of my favourite models The actual count stands at 170 infantry figures, 8 Cavalry, 14 Personalities, 4 Artillery pieces, 3 Wagons, 4 Draft Horses, 4 Oxen, 6 Pavises, 3 Tanks, 1 Armoured Car and 1 Giraffe! All painted and based and housed in their new home.

Which brings me on to the most important development of the year in my hobby life – My very own war games and hobby room. Yes at the tender age of 64, I finally have my own hobby space into which I can relax and paint and game. It’s been a long time coming but is certainly a highlight in the year. I still have work to do to finish it but it is gradually taking shape. Even better, I have a home for my collection.

My new painting station.
My Figure cabinets – nearly filled already!

To bring this blog to an end, I must add that I have also managed to enjoy a fair number of games, both with my regular Gaming Buddies, Pete and Andy and with other good friends. Perhaps the highlight for me was the Bill Hooks Bash, organised by ‘Other Pete Harris’ over in Derby. The day encapsulated the very best of the social side of the hobby. A full day of gaming against various opponents , all of whom were friendly, gracious and made the day inspirational. As the song goes, ‘One day like this a year will see me right’

Billhooks Bash


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


Happy Modelling!

Command Bases and Vignettes

If you follow my blog, you will know that I have now occupied my purpose built ‘war room’ or hobby room. In the process of moving my figure collection into it’s new home I came across a number of unfinished projects and some unpainted figures in my cabinet. I thought that it was time to get these figures completed.

First up was the ‘Secure the Colour’ vignette from Perry Miniatures. This set depicted Captain Clarke and Corporal Stiles of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons capturing the 105e eagle at Waterloo. I had already completed the other Vignette that the Perry’s make for the British at Waterloo, ‘A Hard Contest’ with Sgt Ewart capturing the 45e eagle, so it made sense to complete the pair! You can see my attempt at the Sgt Ewart vignette in my earlier blog here:



My version of ‘A Hard Contest’ – I still need to add the flag!

You can see how far I have progressed with the next vignette ‘Secure the Colour’ in the photograph below. It’s still not quite finished as I need to add the long grass and flag. I have ordered both the 45e and the 105e flags from GMB, so once they arrive, I can finish off both vignettes.

Secure the Colour!

The other projects that were nagging at me were the command bases that I had started some time ago for my Black powder army. I have a number of Wellingtons and Pictons in my collection, but I thought that it would be useful to base them on 40mm round bases, along with another suitable figure to make ‘brigade commanders’ for my army. I had a couple of nice figures from Trent Miniatures, given to me by Duncan and it was time that they were painted and added to my collection.

Warlord Picton with Trent Miniature Scotish Fencible officer

There are actually three bases that I have made. One with a Front rank Ensign and the other two with the Scottish figures. The Trent Scots figures are designed for an earlier part of the Napoleonic Wars – one is a Scottish Fencible officer, the other represents Sir John Sinclair who raised the Rothesay and Caithness Fencibles, the first of the Highland Fencible corps. The Caithness Fencibles would go on to serve in Ireland during the rebellion of 1798. I was happy to paint the Officer with the raised sword as an officer of the Black Watch and Sir John Sinclair was given a Cameron Tartan. It seems unlikely that these officers would have been dressed as such for the Waterloo campaign but they make a colourful addition to my army.

Sir John Sinclair and Wellington

You can see from the pictures that I have once again used home made ‘sabot’ bases for the figures. Should I wish to change the setting in the future, it is an easy process to transfer the figures and replace them with something else.

By the way, if you would like to see just how many models of Wellington that I have, I have covered the issue in my blog here:


Just to finish off, here are pictures of my new command bases/vignettes.

The completed Sir John as a Cameron Officer with Wellington
Picton and Friend from the Black Watch!
Yet another Wellngton and Front Rank Ensign!
All three bases together


I’ve received my flags from GMB, so I was able to complete the ‘secure the flag’ set:

Captain Clarke and Corporal Stiles take the Eagle from the 105e
The view from the rear.
Another view with enhanced lighting! It makes my painting look sharp!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


Happy Modelling!

The War room is finished!

Well, the building work is and I have now started to occupy the new space! The final task was completed on the 16th November, with the new floor being laid. The next stage was to get my cabinets and figures moved in from the shed and to purchase and build a desk. It’s worth reminding myself as to what I was trying to achieve. It wasn’t just a case of converting the garage but part of a plan to improve the house generally and to de-clutter my hobby. Like most of my friends that are involved in this strange hobby, I had accumulated a large collection of books, board games and a considerable ‘lead pile’ and heap of miscellaneous ‘stuff’ that might come in useful one day…. Of course you can add to that a large collection of painted figures.

The war room is finished – now to start moving things back!

The other issue was that I was painting at a work bench in the garage, perched on a bar stool, sometimes in the freezing cold and certainly not in the most comfortable or inspiring environment. So when planning the conversion, I had three objectives in mind. Firstly, I wanted a pleasant space in which I could model and paint and perhaps sit quietly away from the hustle and bustle of the house and do some research and planning. I also wanted to bring my collection of painted figures together and display them, as much for my own pleasure as anyone else. Finally, I wanted to create a space in which I could run my own wargames.

The desk is built and everything is moved in – just needs sorting out – Oh! and I need a new chair!

After two weeks of ‘put and take’, I finally have my figures in their new home and I have bought and built my new desk. There is still much to do, as you can see from the pictures. This has meant that I have done very little in the way of painting or modelling other than the occasional repair as I moved everything around.

My painted figures and models now have a new home!

There’s still much to do though. I need to upgrade my storage, particularly for my scenery and most of my book collection is still out in the shed. Something that I need to remedy quickly before they spoil in the damp and cold. So I think that I will be spending more time in IKEA and B&Q whilst I continue to work out how to get everything in it’s place and cull the stuff that I don’t want.

Just a part of my GW collection – theres another cabinet full of Space marines and Imperial guard in my office upstairs!
My Necron Collection, including a few conversions!
More Necrons – I still have some in the lead pile to complete…one day they will be back!

One of the many diversions that has occurred as I have moved everything is that I have been reminded of all the projects that I have started and perhaps not quite completed. This has given me the urge to revisit some of these ideas and perhaps finish them, in as much as you can finish anything in this hobby!

My Japanese collection. I have plans to expand this army in the future! ‘Never Mind the Bushido’ is bubbling in the back ground!

As I moved my Necron collection, I started to think about some of the new models that had caught my eye. But then I was saved from this madness when I started to move my Napoleonic collection and realised that I still had plans to expand into some of the other allied nations and then there was my Japanese collection….Of course, as I moved the ‘lead pile’ I came across plenty of models that I have had for years. Maybe it’s time to complete them.

My Early WW2 cllection – the home guard are ready for battle!

So, what about the wargames table? Well that will be one of the last things that I will either build or have built for me. I have a cunning plan to make something that is easily stored when not in use but will give me a reasonable playing area when I need it. If my plan comes to fruition, I will of course show the final results on my blog.

My growing collection of 1/48th scale tanks – the sheep have just lost their way!

For now, here are some more pictures of my collection! Now I must get some painting done!

Napoleonic Collection – a couple of vignettes
The Light Cavalry
A rare French subject for me – Napoleons coach! and some of my wagons and limbers.
The naval and Caribbean contingent
A few more for Napoleon to fight!
My latest obsession – War of the Roses
I have more than enough troops to play Never Mind the Bill Hooks but I keep finding excuses to add to my army!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


Happy Modelling!

Mystery at Carisbrooke Castle

Well it’s a good title for a crime thriller but a bit misleading for my blog. However, there is a bit of a minor mystery to be solved and any help from the wargaming community would be welcome. My Brother, Pete, lives on the Isle of Wight and has a couple of allotments just down the road from Carisbrooke Castle. The google earth picture below shows the position of the allotments in relationship to the castle. The distance is about half a mile ‘as the crow flies’.

The Castle is in the bottom left quarter of the picture. The allotments are marked with a blue flag in the top right quarter, just above the Southern Housing group.

Cannon Ball and Musket ball

Whilst digging on the allotments he has found a number of what we presume are cannon balls or gun stones of various sizes. The most commonly found size were the larger of the two in the picture – these have also been dug up on adjoining allotments.

Size comparison with my WOTR artilllery piece – figures are 28mm perry’s!

It looks as though the ball has been fired as there is a noticeable roughness on one side, compared to the almost perfect sphere of the rest of the ball.

Cannon ball with ‘firing’ side to the right

So the question is what are they? There are some clues and our casual research has revealed that the last action near to the castle was the siege of 1377 when the French besieged the castle. According to local legend, an archer, Peter de Heynoe, shot and killed the French comander with a single shot from his bow. I think that it is unlikely that these cannon shot date from that period though.

A more likely explanation is that George Carey, persuaded Queen Elizabeth 1 and the local citizens to pay for the creation of a modern artillery emplacement at Carisbrooke that was completed in 1602. The concern was that the Spanish would attempt some sort of landing or invasion Although never required in anger, it seems likely that some test firing would have been made.

As well as the cannon balls or gun stones, a number of fragments of clay pipes, including intact bowls have been recovered on the allotments. These look to be 17th century – unfortunately , I do not have pictures.

Finally, the allotments are sited on the position of an old quarry. Is it possible that the stones were being produced here for use else where? It could be that this was an old storage area. However, the indication that the stones have been fired, seems to make storage not quite so likely.

If you do have any information, please contact me through the Arcane Scenery shop page. Unfortunately, I have had to turn comments off on the blog due to the high number of spam message etc.


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


The contact details are here:


Happy Modelling!

Ox Cart – Final touches

The final part of the project was to paint the ‘crew’ and base everything. Painting the figures was fairly straight forward – as they are supposed to be civilians, there was no need to worry about whether the figures would be in livery or not! I did check pinterest and Google images for pictures of medieval clothing and the general impression that I had from these sources was that the clothing would be mainly muted colours.

Passengers block painting in prgress.

So the driver was painted in Gold brown 70877 for his leggings, and deep green 70970 for his jacket. The finished figure was actually brighter than I intended but he looks OK and adds some colour to the diorama. The female figure (the driver or drover’s wife?) was painted with a light grey 70990 apron over a burnt red 70814 dress. The baby and her hat were painted white to add interest and to show the baby off. The little lad was painted with black grey 70862 leggings and a khaki 70988 smock. I gave him a bright red hat to make him stand out against the luggage!

Edith Cavell – the free figure from Partizan 2021

You may have noticed that there is a WW1 nurse in the picture above. It is the Edith Cavell figure that was being given out at Partizan this year. It made sense to paint her at the same time as the passengers, as I would be using similar colours. She is not included in the final diorama but here’s a picture of the finished model that I have added to my collection!

All aboard!

Once the figures were completed, they were based ( in the case of the drover) or added to the cart. The lady with the baby looks as though she’s is in a precarious position, perched right up on top. I’m sure that the Health and safety executive would not be pleased! However, this is where she is designed to go and from an artistic perspective, looks good!

Sabot base under construction
Test fitting everything.

The next stage was to construct the base. For some reason, I have a tendency to go for ‘sabot’ style basing for my dioramas and vignettes. It allows me easier access to paint the bases and should I wish to change things in future ( I have no idea why I would want to….) I can do so. I used a piece of MDF for the base – I think it was part of a discarded movement tray that I had in my ‘bit’s’ box. It was then a question of using Plasticacrd and some spare renedra bases to block in the spaces around the wagon, Oxen and drover. The picures show how I did this.

Texture paste added

Once this is done, I covered the whole lot in Vallejo Dark Earth texture paste. I also added some ballast for some extra texture on the edges. I used my sculpting tools to stipple up the earth where the oxen would have walked, and created the cart wheel marks in the cart base.

Painted and dry brushed

When dry, everything was painted with my choice of emulsion ‘Delhi Bazaar’ and then dry brushed with Iraqi Sand. I was going for a dry look to the base rather than a muddy winter or autumn finish.

Green Turf added

I then added some green scatter from the woodland scenics range, a blended green Turf.

The finished diorama – oops! I need to touch up the sides…

The final touch was to add a variety of tufts and flowers. My friends say that I use too many flowers on my bases but I like the colour that they add! I think that it adds to the rural look!

The final result with the edge of the base touched up!
The view from the other side!

So the Ox wagon is compete and added to my collection. There is just one more thing that I will add. I need a length of chain to connect the front oxen team to the wagon but unfortunately, I am O/S of the size that I want and more annoyingly, I’m sure that I have some buried out in the shed somewhere! For now though, I’m calling this done and it’s on to the next project!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


To see our range of Vallejo paints click the link below. To go straight to a colour, type the paint number into the search bar:


To see our selection of MDF and Renedra bases click here:


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Happy Modelling!

Painting the Ox Cart

In my last blog, I showed you how I assembled the Ox cart. Now, on to the painting. I primed everything with Army Painter Leather Brown to give a good base for the paint. I then followed my usual procedure for painting wooden carts. With hind sight this was a bit of overkill for this opened frame cart but the results are acceptable. I started by painting the cart and Oxen Yoke Vallejo Chocolate Brown 70872.

First coat – 70872 Chocolate Brown.

I also picked out some of the wooden pieces of luggage in the cart load with the same colour. Next, I used Flat Brown 70894 to ‘wet brush’ over the same parts. A wet brush technique is like a dry brush technique but there’s more paint on the brush and it’s a bit heavier. The idea is to leave some of the darker brown in the shadows.

Flat Brown coat – again, the luggage is also coated

The next stage is to use a heavy dry brush of Flat Earth 70983 to lighten the wooden frame. This time, I’m not going so heavy with either the paint or the brush. I’m trying not to cover all of the previous coats.

Flat Earth dry brushed on. I’ve tried to avoid the luggage, to keep these a darker colour.

The next colour that I dry brushed on was Orange Brown 70981. This is a lighter dry brush than the other coats and the focus is now the high spots on the wagon, wheels and frame. I tried to avoid the luggage, although any mistakes and over brushing ( as you can see on the sacks) will be corrected when I paint the luggage.

Orange Brown starts to give the ‘wood’ some texture.

Once the Orange brown is done, yet another dry brush is layered on. This time, I used yellow ochre 70913 and I am aiming at the high spots and edges. Incidentally, I’m not waiting for the different highlights to dry. I just layer them on one after the other and I think that this helps to blend them.

Golden Brown layered on and we are nearly done!

You could stop there but there is one final dry brush, this time using 70815 basic skin tone. It seems like the wrong colour to use but as a very careful edge highlight, it works. I have learnt this technique from the ‘Painting War’ Holy War issue. It very effective on on larger areas of wood. Here’s a link to a previous blog where I use this technique for the first time to paint a trebuchet:


Flat flesh top highlights – not essential, you could stop at Golden brown if you are happy with this effect

The next task is to paint the luggage and detail the wagon. All the iron work on the wagon and luggage was painted in 70950 Black. I may go back and paint the wheel rims in gun metal as I think that the paint would quickly wear off. The Bindings were painted in Light Brown 70929 and later painted with Iraqi Sand ‘stripes to give a bit of detail.

Iron work and bindings done!

When it came to the luggage, I use a variety of colours, Stone grey 70884, Iraqi sand 70819, Kahki 70988, Black 70950, Deep green 70970, Off white 70820, and my new favourite colour, Deck Tan 70986! Once the colours were blocked on, I gave everything a wash with Army Painter Soft Tone. Once this was dry, I went back over every thing with the original colour, carefully leaving some of the shadows created by the ink, to add the highlights. The top Highlights were done with the original colours but with a bit of Iraqi sand added to lighten the original colour, I find that Iraqi sand can be less ‘harsh’ than adding white. Deck Tan is also very useful for this. One final thought. As I was struggling to paint the details on the luggage at the sides of the cart, if did occur to me that it might have been easier to paint it separately and add it to the completed wagon.

Luggage with first highlights added

Onto the Oxen. I am no expert on painting Oxen. I did google a few pictures but decided to just copy the picture on the Perry web site as I liked the effect. I painted them with Off White, Vallejo 70820 and then picked out the pattern in Flat brown 70984. After a good liberal coating of soft tone, I repainted the white bits and used the flat brown to highlight the brown areas, although it’s not particularly noticeable. Eyes and noses were painted in matt black and the horns in Iraqi sand. I highlighted the horns with off white and used a black grey 70862 to blend the noses!

Oxen block painted before adding soft tone

I then based the Oxen in pairs on 40mm x 40mm renedra bases. I had left them unbased up until now as it allowed me easier access to the insides of the Oxen teams. This did lead to a bit of chipping as I moved the animals around. So once based up, I touched up any errors and finished off the yokes with black and Army Painter plate mail for the top off the bolts.

Oxen based, shaded and completed

So that’s it for the wagon and Oxen team. The next task is to complete the passengers and base the set. I’ll show you how in the next blog but here’s a teaser of progress so far!

Its, nearly there! Just the basing to complete


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


To see our range of Vallejo paints click the link below. To go straight to a colour, type the paint number into the search bar:


To go straight to the adhesives and fillers section. Click here:

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Happy Modelling!

Medieval Ox Cart

My latest project is a Medieval Ox cart from Perry Miniatures. I seem to have a growing collection of wagons and although they are of little use in most wargames, they do look nice on the table as scenery pieces. They also look nice in the figure cabinet as part of my collection, so I seem to keep adding to my baggage train! As an aside, I must get around to writing a scenario or two involving either rescuing or raiding a baggage train. It would at least add some variety to our games.

Wagon and Arrow barrow from my collection

I am a great fan of the Perry Miniature sculpts – there are other company’s out there with some fantastic ranges but I like the style and proportions of the Perry’s figures. The Perry’s have also been involved in Medieval re-enactment, so they know their stuff when it comes to the period. There is just two minor grumps that I have with their products. Firstly, the casting quality is not always as good as it could be., particularly with their horses and wagons. It took me a couple of evenings to clean up the parts for the Ox wagon – the wheels were a particular challenge. The other issue is that there is no assembly instructions with these kits and I think that they are complicated enough to warrant some sort of guide. If not supplied with the kit itself, a bit more information on the web site would help.

There are plenty of parts in the Ox cart kit!

So here’s how I went about assembling the wagon. I hope that it is useful. The first place to start is of course, the clean up. I used a couple of differently shaped needle files and a Scalpel with an old blade for scraping the mold lines. For assembly, I use Expo Thick Super glue. I find it ideal for assembling metal miniatures. It’s thickness gives the glue some ‘fill ability’ on the joints so they don’t have to be perfect to stick together. Also the slower set time allows me to make sure that everything is lined up before the glue sets. The set time is about 10- 12 seconds, depending on the size of the bond. You can speed things up by using an accelerant. Despite being careful, I usually end up sticking parts to my fingers and usually get enough glue on my finger tips to stop me logging into my iPhone…

The Cart components after clean up.

One other thing, I always wash resin pieces in hot soapy water before assembly. Resin seems to be particularly likely to have a residue of the mold release agent on it, which will cause problems when painting. The picture above shows the main components for the wagon all cleaned up and ready to assemble.

Front wheels assembled. Load ready to glue to wagon base

The small wheels fit onto the front assembly. The Wagon load is fixed to the wagon bed. Note that the front of the wagon bed is the rounded bit and the rear of the load has the poles sticking out.

The sides look a bit wonky! They will straighten out once the top components are added.

Next, attach the sides to the wagon bed. They locate into the cut outs above the axle and may need a bit of filing to get them to fit. The two pieces in front of the assembly are the top connectors – they hold the railing sides together at the top.

Basic Wagon assembled

Here’s the wagon with the wheels on and the top connectors in place. The next part of the assembly is to fix the ‘elbow’ reinforcements to the wheels ( I made that term up – I’ve no idea what they are actually called!). They will need a bit of careful bending to go around the wheels and attach to the railing of the cart. It’s important that the joints are cleaned up and I cannot stress how important it is that you test fit everything before getting out the glue! It was during this part of the assembly that I stuck myself to the cart a couple of times! Those joints are difficult!

Elbow joints….?

With the elbow joints in place, the cart assembly is complete. What ever those things are that connect to the axles, they do make the cart look more substantial so I think it is worth persevering to add them.

The completed cart.

The next part of the assembly is to make the draft oxen. After cleaning up the pieces, you will need to glue the heads on the Oxen at the same time as placing the yolk over the animals neck. I haven’t glued the yolk into place, it will stay there without the need for glue and the movement will allow me to prime and paint the animals later.

The forward ox team awaits their heads!

Once the Oxen are assembled, I cleaned up the ‘crew’ and you can see the finished wagon below ready for priming. I’ll cover the painting process in my next blog – all being well!

Wagon ready to roll!

One final note, You get two types of Oxen – heads up or heads down. I decided to pair them. With hindsight, it might have been better to have one’ heads up’ with one ‘heads down’ as their horns tend to clash the way I have assembled them!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


To go straight to the adhesives and fillers section. Click here:

Glue. Fillers and Paints

To see our selection of tools, click here:

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Happy Modelling!

Another work bench round up!

As we approach the end of October, I thought that another work bench round up was in order. My on going painting projects are still, to some extent, curtailed by the work that is continuing to convert my garage into a proper wargaming den. The good news is that all the building work on the room is now completed, with one exception….We haven’t been able to get the floor done! The date for this work is 16th November and until the floor is laid, I really cant move anything back in. So patience is the key word. I have been over to Ikea to check out desks and storage and I’ve been out chalking up possible arrangements on the concrete floor for the cabinets and gaming table. However, until the floor is laid, the project is really on hold.

Furniture in place but still no floor!

Meanwhile, I have been pursuing my hobby as best that I can, given my restricted circumstances. On 10th October, I attended the Partizan show over at Newark. As it is just down the road from me, it wasn’t too much of a hardship to get there! Unusually, I didn’t take any photos of the actual show, even though there were some superb demonstration games on show. I was too busy talking to people that I hadn’t seen for so long thanks to the issues with Covid. I did purchase some more Perry Miniatures whilst I was there and for once they have gone straight onto the painting table rather than into the lead pile. I treated myself to some Irish Kern and an Irish Command set. I don’t intend to build a full Irish army but I thought that another unit of Kern would be useful and I intend to have a couple of units of Gallowglass so that I can add some Irish mercenaries to my WOTR army.

Another six Kern join the collection!

I painted the first batch of Kern in exactly the same way that I painted the Crusader miniature versions in my collection. You can see how by clicking here:


Gallow Glass.

When it came to painting the command group, I primed the two Armoured figures in Black and the rest in Desert yellow rather than the flesh undercoat that I had been using for Kern. As you can see, the two armoured figures are ready for basing. With hind sight, the Dark red cloak was a bad idea. I should have gone for a Dark blue or Green cloak as the red effect is slightly reminiscent of Father Christmas!

The pipers

The remaining Kern are also nearly finished – the two pipers are about ready for basing. I was tempted to go for a tartan finish to the bag on the bag pipes but my references show them as being a plain leather bag. In this case, I went for the easy option rather than let my ‘artistic interpretation’ run loose! The two other Kern are also near to completion. One will make a good standard bearer, so I will have to add a flag. The other is sword armed and perhaps represents a ‘Bonnacht’ – a more professional and experienced Kern, perhaps a bodyguard for the Standard bearer.

Kern – or Bonnachts

So another 12 figures are nearing completion and my WOTR army continues to expand, despite me thinking it finished a year or so ago! I did buy one other item at Partizan. A medieval Ox cart. I think that I might take my time on this project and perhaps provide a step by step guide to making and painting it.

The six figures that make the Irish Command Group
Every thing is still a bit cramped! My photo set up is not quite as I would like!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


Happy Modelling!

Rainbow Spitfire and other stuff – Workbench round up

Work is progressing slowly on the war room. I now have plastered walls and electrics! The second fix of cupboards, skirting boards etc is due next week. The bad news is that it is unlikely that the flooring will be finished much before the end of October..

Slow progress but progress at least! Plastering done and electrics in.

So I am still using the granddaughters craft tray in my office as a temporary paint station. Talking of whom, Emily, now aged eight, decided that she would like to make a kit after seeing the stack of models temporarily stored in my office. I went through the kit pile and found an Airfix 1/72 scale Spitfire that I thought would make an nice easy subject. We sat down together and spent a most enjoyable couple of hours assembling it during the rainy afternoon. I let Emily clip off the parts and sand them down before using the glue to assemble them. I didn’t let her use the scalpel to trim the parts – I’ve cut myself too often to risk letting an eight year old re-model her fingers!

Emily’s Spitfire!

On her next visit she wanted to paint it. I had showed her the painting instructions and explained all about camouflage but Emily wasn’t to impressed. She had her own colour scheme in mind, based on summer visits to the beach, starry nights and unicorn rainbows… I tried to influence her towards something more authentic, telling her tales of the brave female pilots that ferried the Spitfires around during the war. Yes, Granddad, that’s all very interesting but I want to paint the model in the colours that I like….

Apparently, Unicorn rainbows have pink and purple in them…

The good news was that we used colours that rarely see the light of day when I am painting and Emily proudly took her Spitfire home to Mum and Dad, so mission accomplished! I’m not sure whether I will tempt Emily into the world of Wargaming and modelling but I do know that we both enjoy the chance to do something together. I also believe that ‘People who make things, don’t break things’ so she is learning a valuable lesson regardless of whether the hobby sticks. By the way, the pilots name is Emma and she has long blonde hair, although you may struggle to see this in the pictures!

Cart and driver – the horses need a coat of Matt varnish

Despite my restrained circumstances, I managed to get quite a bit of stuff off of the lead pile in September. The only thing that is not possible is using my airbrush and of course, I have to wait for a dry day to do any spray undercoating or varnishing. So projects completed or nearly completed, include the Draft horse team for my Medieval cart (Matt varnishing, basing and traces still to be added) – I hope to do a more detailed blog on how I painted the cart and made the canopy once the model is completed on it’s base.

Twelve of The KGL ready for action!
Another unit of Duncans figures ready to take to the table. The end two figures ( on the right) are Crusader miniatures that I have painted to make up the unit.

I’ve completed twenty four figures representing the 8th Battalion KGL ( flags still to be added), Rebased and repaired another 12 pikemen from Duncans collection for the WOTR, Painted a DeeZee Giraffe and completed Six mounted Riders of Rohan.

Riders of Rohan – another unit for my LOTR collection.

So, despite the restrictions that I am working under, my collection is steadily growing, and my lead pile is gradually shrinking….

DeeZee Giraffe – painted and based at last!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


Happy Modelling!

Boromir and Gandalf

A much shorter blog this week. As I have already noted, work on the upgrade to my new wargames den is progressing well but I am still relegated to painting at the desk in my office. So rather than buying any new models or starting any new projects, I have continued to work through my lead pile.

Boromir was the ‘free’ figure from issue 11 of the ‘Battle Games in Middle Earth’ magazine series that I am working my way through. I actually painted him just before I lost the use of the garage but he hasn’t featured in my blog so I thought I would include him for continuity. As usual, I used the magazine as a reference as well as Youtube. I quite like the Planetmithril youtube channel and there is a wealth of painting advise and step by step tutorials to be found. There’s a link to the planetmithril web site below, if you would like more information.

Boromir in black!

I dont follow the guides exactly but use them as a help, particularly if I am not sure what colour to use. With Boromiir, I went for a much darker finish than the one in the video but this suited my style of painting.

Gandalf on the paint station

The next figure was Gandalf the Grey from issue 12 of the magazine. Again, the magazine and the you tube channel gave me all the help that I needed and again, I went for a darker look than the videos seem to show. The paint pallet was fairly limited – Gandalf the Grey is predominately , well, grey…

Gandalf, based and ready for action!

As these are fantasy figures, I feel that there is no need to slavishly follow a particular colour scheme. So long as the figure looks about right, it’s good enough for me. I have to confess to never having finished reading the ‘Lord of the Rings’. That’s probably heresy as far as Tolkien fans are concerned but for what ever reason, the book never caught my imagination. Quite the opposite, after 600 pages of second breakfasts, singing nonsense songs and endless descriptions of characters that seemed to do nothing, I gave up on the book. I think that I had come to LOTR too late in life and had been spoilt by watching the Peter Jackson films. Mind you, in the last of the films, the bum numbing rendition of ‘The Return of the King’ I was crying out for Bilbo to get on the fecking boat with the Elves at the end so I could go for a pint with the missus…It’s fair to say that whilst I did enjoy the films, I am not by any means an enthusiast of LOTR in particular and fantasy in general.

I digress slightly, I do like the painting the figures and they make a nice change from historical subjects. Perhaps when I have a large enough collection, I will try out the game. For now it’s back to the lead pile to choose my next subject.


The magazines that I am referring to are long out of print but still available on ebay should you wish to collect them.

If you need help in completing a project of your own we have a massive range of stock in the Arcane Scenery shop. Almost all of the paints, miniatures, bases, basing materials and anything that you are likely to need for your hobby are available from my shop here:


You can find plenty of links to the paining videos as well as painting tips on the Planet Mythril site here:


Happy Modelling!

No Fighting In The War Room

Yes, I stole the quote from the internet, via Dr Stangelove but it sort of sums up where I am at the moment. I decided to convert my integral garage into a proper games room/hobby room. I was spending a great deal of my spare time out there and at my age, I decided a bit of comfort would be nice. I had in effect closed the garage up and used some big sheets of marine ply, polystyrene foam sheet and some expanding foam to seal the door in an effort to make it a permanent den. My work bench was hand built and whilst functional, was not the greatest piece of carpentry that you would see! Add to that, I was sitting on a bar stool to paint and it’s little wonder that I have back issues!

The garage – empty but still boarded up and my trusty work bench in place!
Nearly stripped out!

That all said, it was a permanent set up that allowed me to pursue my hobby and paint and play when it wasn’t too cold or too hot. I was inspired by the gaming rooms that two of my friends have and I decided it was time that I had my own purpose built war games den! That was in October 2019 and I approached a local builder with my plans. These plans also included erecting a new shed in the garden to take the over spill of ‘stuff’ from the garage and a replacement for my 25 year old garden shed at the side of the house, that had rotted out so badly that I could see the house wall through the holes…

Boarding on door removed and insulation for floor going down
New floor laid
First fix electrics

The builder provided an estimate and work was due to start in the Spring of 2020. Well, we all know what happened next and thanks to the various COVID lock downs, massive pressure on the building industry and the difficulty in getting building materials, the project has proceeded at a slow pace. The sheds were completed back at the start of the summer and work was pencilled in to start on the garage conversion in August. In order for the work to start I had to empty the garage. Quite a task, not quite the Augean stables, the only live stock there being a huge number of spiders! This meant that all the ‘stuff’ ( an accumulation of 30 years of ‘That might come in handy one day…’)was moved either to fill my new shed, into the dining room or up into my office. Mrs W has been very patient as my ‘lead pile’ also occupied the tops of the wardrobes in the bedroom…

My new shed is full of my wargaming stuff….
So is the dining room….
And then there’s my collection of figures and book overflow…
And just some of my ‘lead pile’ stashed on the wardrobes
My temporary paint station

The result was that I no longer had a permanent set up and was reduced to painting and modelling on my office desk, using one of the granddaughters crafting trays as a paint station! If I have complained that my painting output was slow in the past, it was even worse now. Every time that I needed a new paint colour or tool, I had to ferret around in the various locations to try and find the required item.

The outside garage door – it’s seen better days!
Window to the right bricked up and new wall to replace door
How it looks from the outside.

At last, though, the project is moving along with an end in sight. As you can see from the pictures running through the blog, the main building work has been completed and the first fix for the electrics has been done. The next phase is to get the walls plastered, the carpet or flooring down and of course to move everything back in. Well, perhaps everything…The plan is that the new ‘big shed in the back garden will be home to some of my ‘proper’ tools and decorating gear and any other paraphernalia that you usually find in a garage. The gardening tools and such are already neatly stored in the rebuilt garden shed at the side of the house.

So in theory, all that is going back in will be a nice new desk, my figure cabinets, a very much culled book and magazine collection and of course a war games table. Oh! and as part of the deal, Julie will have some proper cupboard space to store some of the cleaning stuff and ironing board, as well as a new fridge and freezer, both easily accessible from the kitchen. The fridge being particularly useful for storing my beer!

I hope to be back in and painting comfortably by mid October! An up date will follow!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


Happy Modelling!

Bill Hooks BASH part 2 – the Battles!

This blog is an account of the battles that I was involved in at the Bill Hooks BASH held on September 4th at Boards and Swords in Derby. For more details of the actual event, please refer to my earlier blog, Bill Hooks BASH part one.

Sir Pete faces off against Sir Mike in the first battle

As always, it is difficult to participate in the battles, take photos and record exactly what happened. So the accounts are written after the event, from the brief notes that I made and of course, are totally biased from my perspective. As such, I suspect that makes my reports as reliable as the chroniclers of the time! If you get to talk to my opponents, they may hold a different view of what really happened! I must also apologise for not getting photos of every battle or even every army – there really was too much going on!

Sir Richard vs Sir Ian – game one
Sir Ralph prepares to Advance against Sir Robbie – Game one

BATTLE ONE vs Sir John Csonka

It’s worth mentioning that John had travelled all the way from Bournemouth on the coach to join us on the day. This was to be his first ever battle using the Bill Hooks rules. He had borrowed an army, very kindly supplied by one of the other players ( Robbie, I think), so as a result, he was limited in the options that he had for his troops. With an army composed of just Bows, Bills and Men At Arms, John adopted a defensive position on the top of a hill at the back of the table and invited me to attack and do my worst – I was happy to oblige!

Lord Hotspur approach’s John’s defensive position

The movement phase was a somewhat one sided affair as I redeployed my artillery and the battle opened with them opening fire without effect on the opposing army. I had moved my main ward within long range bowshot of John’s defensive position. The idea was that we would either tempt John off of the hill or let him use his arrow supplies at long range whilst I moved my MAA into position to charge. My opening bow shots caused a bit of damage to John’s archers. To my surprise, John’s opening shots at long range killed seven of my archers in Lord Harry Hotspurs unit. At the end of the turn they were forced to make a morale check. A roll of 8 + would be good enough, with a 5, 6 or 7 causing the unit to be daunted and to fall back. I rolled a 3 and a 1!

Just don’t roll a four….

This would cause the unit to rout! I used Harry Hotspur’s command status to reroll the 1. I rolled another one…The whole block, along with Sir Harry ran from the table – game over! With the benefit of hindsight, I only needed to test the archer unit’s morale as the casualties were caused by shooting. Once they failed, they would have routed back through Sir Harry and his MAA but not caused any further morale checks with the MAA as they would ignore the archers plight. However, Once I chose to use Sir Harry’s reroll it seemed only fair that he should abide by the result – served me right!

Gaps were appearing in Johns line but my army was struggling to find a way in.

As that battle had ended so quickly, John kindly suggested that I re instate Sir Harry ( less his cowardly troops!) and we carried on with the battle. A desperate struggle ensued, with Lord Harry Hotspur and his remaining ward and Sir Eric Die Hard grinding down Johns position and gradually temptimg them to advance. The Kern nearly won the battle for me. Having ground down a unit of MAA that were holding the flank and forced them to fall back daunted, the Kern nearly killed John’s isolated C in C. He escaped the combat with one wound, somewhat shaken but was able to re-join another unit and find safety.

The battle came to it’s second conclusion when Sir Daniel Rose charged his light cavalry unit at a unit of Billmen that had become exposed. If he could force a morale check, Johns army was in danger of routing. Although Sir Daniel won the combat 5 wounds to 4 he managed to roll another 1 when checking for wounds on the leader. As a dolt, he had only one wound and was killed. We decided that both units should test morale. The result was predictable and whilst John’s men stood, the few remaining light horse routed, giving a second decisive victory to John!

Battle Two vs Sir Ralph Dutton

Sir Ralph’s Household observes the battlefield!

Sir Ralphs army livery was based on his family name and his home location. The army was fairly ‘bow heavy’ and Sir Ralph adopted an aggressive strategy, advancing rapidly to bring his superior firepower into range of his opponents. The opening moves saw two significant events. I drew my first and only special event card of the day and caused a rainstorm preventing any firing in the first turn. Under cover of the rain, my Kern were able to advance quickly down the left flank, threatening the rear of Sir Ralph’s army. I was also move towards Sir Ralphs Bow men line safe in the knowledge that he would be unable to unleash an arrow storm for the time being.

The army is ready to advance!

As the rain storm ended, my Skirmishers were again activated. The bad news was that my Artillery piece blew up killing it’s crew. The good news was that the Kern had closed with the opposition skirmishers and put them to flight in combat. They continued to harry the left flank, disposing of another batch of crossbowmen and distracting the units on that side of the table throughout the game.

On the right, the two opposing units of Light horse charged each other. This time, after 2 rounds of combat, Sir Daniel Rose was victorious, routing his opponent. This left the right flank under pressure with my light horse threatening the bow men from this side, turning them away from my centre with a flank attack.

This looks like it’s going to hurt….wait they’ve missed – pile in boys!

In the centre, Sir Ralph finally unleashed his arrow storm but seemed to be suffering from damp bowstrings as casualties amongst my wards were extremely light. In reply to the arrow storm, Sir Eric Diehard was able to charge home, tying up one of Sir Ralphs ward and preventing its commander from giving orders. This allowed me to concentrate my fire on the formation of bowmen in line. They were out shot and routed.

Sir Ralphs MAA close in but have to weather an arrow storm!

Sir Ralph then attempted to charge my units but fell short. Surrounded by archers , they were almost annihilated and failed their morale bringing the battle to a close. Victory for Lord Harry Hotspur! In this game, apart from the episode with the artillery, my dice throws had been much kinder. I was lucky to take minimal casualties from Sir Ralph’s opening arrow storm, whilst my own troops were far more effective with their dice, with over average numbers of 6’s being thrown at each attempt.

Only four men left standing! Even the crossbowmen skirmishers get in on the act!

This was the first time that I had faced archers in a line formation in a ‘real battle’. We had play tested the formation and whilst it is devastating if it has the initiative – an arrow storm could be 48 dice! – we found it to be extremely fragile when in melee and of course vulnerable to a cavalry charge. Although light cavalry are vulnerable to arrows, an unsupported bow line is still going to struggle against a head on charge, even with a closing shot. I’ll leave you to do the maths!

Battle Three vs Sir Richard Robinson

Richard is now a veteran of Bill Hooks, being Peter Harris’s regular opponent. His well balanced army would be a formidable test. From the start, Sir Richard adopted a no nonsense ‘up and at ’em’ philosophy, with his army advancing rapidly towards me. Once again, my Kern were able to work their way down the left flank to cause mayhem with Sir Richards skirmishers and threaten to get behind his army. And once again, my artillery blew up in the opening turn!

The centre of each army closes. My light cavalry are lurking just out side of camera shot!

Despite that minor set back I managed to position my light horse to launch a flank attack on Sir Richards two units of archers in line. This caused them to pivot at right angles to my army, exposing his C in C and his ward of MAA. Although my light horse were beaten off and then ridden down by Sir Richards light horse, his battle line was in chaos, pulled to the left by the Kern and to the right by the light horse. After inflicting a couple of casualties on Sir Richards MAA, Lord Harry Hotspur ( rated as a Hero for this game) charged home with his MAA.

The archers have had to swing around to turn and face – Hotspur sees that gap and he’s in!

Lord Hotspur comfortably won the ensuing melee and was able to follow up in the next turn, pushing The opposing army commander off of the table. Another victory for Lord Hotspur! Once again, the dice goodess had been exceptionally kind to me. I think that I used my bad throws up in the first game!

Another superbly painted unit – I’m not sure who these are fighting for.
Like wise, I’m not sure who these fellows represent but the units looked lovely and the round basing in trays works really well.

So three great games, all with different highs and lows and three great opponents. All three games could have turned out differently with a change of the order of the cards or better or worse dice. I think that is part of the charm of the rules. No matter how good your initial strategy, lady luck will have her say. Which means that win or lose, you have something to talk about and the urge to fight another battle!

Clever use of spare arrows to count down the volleys!
Sir Robbie’s Irish Bonachts. There will be more on Irish troops in Bill Hooks Volume 2! You will have to wait though!


I hope that you all enjoy your hobby as much as I do – remember that our web site will have much of what you need! Click here to see our shop:


We also have a category devoted to Never Mind the Bill Hooks:


Happy Modelling!