Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Sunday, 30 August 2015

And the Winner is..............

The Heritage of Persia will be the next book I crack open, For a time The Army at Dawn was leading the way. Thank you to the sixty nine who took time out to vote on this. Persia received 52% of the votes with 36 votes whilst The Army At Dawn received twenty eight votes and The Christian in Complete Armour received just 7% with five votes.

I will leave it a few months and then run the same idea again with two new listings and The Army At Dawn will be added to the mix again as it did so well in this pole. As for Christian, well that will go to the back of the bookcase but maybe just maybe it will get read in the future.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Friday Quiz 11 Guest Quiz

Image result for wellington at waterloo images

Here we go with a  Friday Quiz with a difference, Roy from RoyW's Hobby Blog hope you all will enjoy the challenge.

Q1: In 2002, which country did the British Royal Marines accidentally invade during a training exercise?

Q2: What mishap befell the city of Nagasaki during the launching of the Japanese warship Musashi, in 1940?

Q3: What was the Diet of Worms?

Q4: What was the name of the Duke of Wellington's horse, that he rode at the Battle of Waterloo?

Q5: Which American athlete won four gold medals [100 metres, 200 metres, long jump and 4x100 metre relay) during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany?

I should have the answers sometime over the weekend, I will be having a crack at these too.

A big thanks to Roy, a great set of questions and here are the answers

1: In 2002, two dozen British marines on a training exercise stormed a beach they mistakenly thought to be in Gibraltar. As it turned out, they came ashore on a beach resort in La Linea, Spain instead. The marines only realized their mistake after the locals and two policemen informed them they were in the wrong place. 
The British later attributed the incident to bad weather and apologized for their error, a gesture which Spanish officials graciously accepted. In a parting shot, the locals wryly pointed out that Gibraltar shouldn't be hard to miss since it had a 426-meter (1,400 ft) tall rock for a landmark. 
To be fair to the British, they weren't the only ones who mistakenly invaded a country. The famously defense-minded country of Switzerland also accidentally invaded its tiny neighbor Liechtenstein—not just once but three times. They even had to compensate Liechtenstein once when Swiss soldiers caused a forest fire.

2: Due to it's massive size and weight, the Musashi unintentionally flooded parts of  the city of Nagasaki during its launch in November 1940. The process of lowering the huge ship into the water caused a meter-high (1.2m to be exact) tsunami that flooded the surrounding residential areas and capsized nearby fishing boats. 
Owing to the secretive nature of the launch, the Japanese military kept the flooded residents from leaving their homes. Fortunately for them, no further mishaps plagued the rest of the ship’s construction, which finally finished in August 1942. 

3: The Diet of Worms, of 1521, was an imperial council that was convened to decide the fate of Martin Luther. It was held in Worms, Germany. The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, presided over the diet.

4: Copenhagen (1808– 12 February 1836). 
Copenhagen was of mixed Thoroughbred and Arabian parentage, with his dam being sired by the Epsom Derby winner John Bull and his sire Meteor finishing second in the Derby. Copenhagen was foaled in 1808 and was named in honour of the British victory at the Second Battle of Copenhagen. Copenhagen did race in England for a short period, winning two races and finishing at least third in nine races out of his 12 career starts. Copenhagen was sent to Spain with Sir Charles Vane in 1813 and was then sold to the Duke of Wellington. Becoming his favourite, Copenhagen was the Duke’s mount in the Battle of Waterloo. The horse was retired to the Duke's estate Stratfield Saye House and lived there for the remainder of his life, dying on 12 February 1836 at the age of 28 years. His grave site is marked with a marble headstone that is situated under a 171–172-year-old Turkey Oak.

5: James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist.
At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens won international fame with four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4x100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the games and as such has been credited with "single-handedly crush[ing] Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy."

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Anatomy of Glory, Napoleon and his Guard Book Review

Originally written in French by Henry Lachouque and adapted into English by Anne S K Brown. Brown (1906-1985) was an American who as a young journalist became very interested in France and Napoleon. It's a heavy hitter running to just over 560 pages.

Lachouque is unashamedly pro Napoleon and France and it shows greatly in his treatment of some of the sticker subjects such as living off the land and the treatment of the Spanish even stating that the Spanish resisting French domination was the core reason for these acts. Not that she was uncritical of French actions but even when she admits to any wrong doings she tended to give excuses for such as if that made such actions OK.

The main focus of the book is how the Guard was dressed and at what cost and goes into great detail down to the smallest of items. Whilst this is actually the least interesting part of the book for me it was still fascinating to read of the shear scale and cost that the Guard. In uniforms alone the expenditure ran into millions of Francs and these costs were not one off's but were regularly repeated. In the later years when the Guard was at it's largest this cost was such a burden on the state that it could be argued that the day to day running costs and regular uniform orders actually helped bring around the fall of Napoleon as France struggled to keep the army equipped and the difficulty juggling the finances to keep the country fiscally viable.

The campaign details are far less detailed and as it's focus is on the Guard tends to be incomplete. That's not to say it's not of interest to the reader who is solely interested in the military campaigns but it certainly helps to have a reasonable knowledge of the battles when reading this book. 

What I was a little disappointed in was that it was somewhat repetitive. Each time Napoleon stopped for the night Lachouque goes into detail of the Palace and who guarded Napoleon and often the comments are echo's of the previous few nights. The same can be said for when the Guard was at a battle but did not fight, the comments on their disappointment just seemed to be lifted from the previous battle and inserted again.

On the other hand I have to say that the illustrations are probably the strongest part of the book. Most of them will have been seen before but these are referenced in the main body of text and as such have greater meaning than in some other books I have seen them in.

What becomes very clear in the book is how little the Guard actually took part in the battles, they being mere spectators so much of the time. Again of great interest was how the Guard coped with the retreat from Moscow and the level of losses it sustained. I was not aware that post Russia the Guard started to recruit heavily from conscripts from the army and civilians who met the height criteria of the Guard. Indeed when reformed for the Hundred Days campaign the amount of untrained men in the ranks (especially the Young Guard) had to have effected their ability to fight and sheds some light on their performance at Waterloo.

I did enjoy reading the book and recommend it to anyone interested in the Napoleonic wars as Lachouque casts light on so many details than the typical Napoleonic book may not even mention.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Friday Quiz 10

Image result for scotlands James II images

After a week off we are back to the quiz. Next weeks should be something a little different but you will have to wait and see why.

1. What event brought the term Decimated into military use?

2. How was Scotland's James II killed in 1460?

3. Name the first outright French victory of the Franco-Prussian War?

4. Name the only US serviceman to be shot for desertion in WWII?

5. Name the common name for the main deforestation chemical used in the Vietnam war?

Hopefully a mix of easier and harder questions this week. Last quiz we had a couple of full marks which was impressive.

You can use Google etc to find the answers but please let us know if you did.

1. Punishment of Roman troops where one in ten was put to death.

2. By Friendly Fire one of his cannons exploded at the siege of Roxburgh

3. Coulmiers (9th November 1870)

4. Private Eddie Slovik

5. Agent Orange

So next week we have a guest quiz master, I get to try my hand and probably shame myself LOL

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Some Downtime

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Just to let you know the blog won't be updated for about a week as I need to get my computer serviced. Hope to be back to it by the weekend.

Also don't forget you can still vote on my next book the run down on the books are here. You can place your vote to the right of this post.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Paint Rack II

I may not have been painting as much this last few weeks but it has not stopped me wanting to remedy my space issue for my paints. I looked at various types of rack to house the overspill of paints from my original rack. I was looking for one that worked best with Vallejo droppers as my other rack can hold different shaped pots and was restricting the size so as not to cause a major shift on my table.

I settled for this rack from Ebay for £10.95 which holds 40 bottles, far more than I need at the moment but lets face it our paints only increase in numbers. I would have given a link to the supplier but as their policy is zero feedback till they receive it I won't bother. A pet dislike of mine is traders who hold you to ransom until you have given them feedback. Why? If something went wrong with the supply would that make my prompt payment any less prompt? 

The new one is on the left and has some neat holders for nearly empty bottles, though they still go in the holders reasonably well upside down anyway but could act as natty reminders of which paints you need to restock.

I have to say putting it together was something of a chore, it is not a tight fit at any point and trying to build it up was a bit of a challenge and unlike the one on the right had to be glued together to stay together. Still it was all done in about 45 minutes and nice and sturdy the following day. For the price it was perfect. If I need to get another I will probably replace both racks with a much bigger set up but before then I may have to increase my paint options by about 30 more paints so not yet awhile I say.

The off cuts from the sprue's look like little people and the kids will have some fun painting these up, especially the other sprue that comes with extra heads and legs. See nothing is wasted and the kids have some creative fun, well worth the cost.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Friday Quiz 9

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Friday seems to come around so very quickly each week so it's quiz time again, lets see how you do.

1. Which Barbarian Chieftain sacked Rome in 410 AD?

2. Orange and red sashes distinguished what at Edgehill?

3. What nation provided the second most number of pilots during the Battle of Britain after the British?

4. Which member of NATO has no armed forces?

5. What is the best known nickname for the American A-10 ground attack plane?

Lets see how well you did


1. Alaric the Goth

2. Orange sashes were worn by Essex's parliamentarians while the Kings forces wore red sashes

3. 574 pilots in total were none British that flew for the RAF and FFA (sorry I was not as clear as I could have been) with Poland supplying the most at 145

 Australia26[3] or 32[1]
 Belgium28[1] or 30[3]
 Czechoslovakia84[3] or 88[1]
 France13[1] or 14[3]
 New Zealand127[1] or 135[2]
 Northern Rhodesia1[3]
 South Africa22[3] or 25[1]
 Southern Rhodesia3[1] or 4[3]
 United States9[1] or 11[3]
Information sourced from Wikipedia here.

4. Iceland

5. Warthog due to it's less than dashing looks.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Work In Progress

Seeing as my production is down I thought it best do a work in progress post so you can see I have not actually stopped painting :-)

Post Joy of Six I have took about ten days off but have been making some progress on some British Nap figures. The three battalions of Highlanders you see above should finish off reasonably quickly now that the fiddly bits are done. Muskets, socks and facings are the main parts that need painting on these fellows whilst I have 96 standard skirmishers to do a little more on. 

The Riflemen are the least advanced of all the infantry though I will be painting the rifles themselves when I do the muskets so these will progress over the coming week.

I also have a bunch of ACW 6mm part painted that I will finish off once the Brits are finished, these are for Lee. Once all these are finished I can move onto some of my own figures for awhile. I fancy up-scaling and will work on the 28's seen in the background for roleplaying with the wife and kids :-)

I also plan to start working on the 32mm Arena Rex figures from the Kickstarter as much for the joy of working with such excellent figures as to use them. Not that 6mm will be left for long as I will be getting back into the Ancients as I have a few pike blocks to get on with.

Lastly don't forget about picking my next history book as discussed in my previous post, you can vote by clicking on any of the three choices to the left of the most recent post.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Will it be Weakest Link or Forgotten Treasure?

Knowing fellow wargamers I fear what will follow on from this post LOL. Like all other wargamers I don't just have a figure mountain but also a book mountain and whilst most of the figures in my mountain have very real chances of being painted I can't say the same for reading the massive pile of books as new books always trump old in this house. 

Then I had an idea, why not take a few books from the been here forever shelf and let you the reader decide which ones I am to read. So I will give a brief description of each book and you can vote for the one you want me to read most from the choices to the right.

Now knowing you lot as I do I am not a little afraid of how you will vote, the opportunity to plunge me into a dreadful book may well be too difficult to resist, after all I know I would want to.

So in alphabetical order we have.

An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson
This is one of those books that you wonder why you bought it. It's tag line to the title is The War in North Africa 1942-1943. Are we to believe then that the war STARTED in 1942? or just the desert war? I find the title provocative, Dawn implies the above, he seems to imply the two years two years and five months of battling were not relevant or maybe important? Indeed from reading the blurp you would be forgiven in thinking Operation Torch really was the start. That's exactly why this books been on the naughty step for so long.

The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall
This is a three volume religious work first published in 1655 my edition is dated 1994 and I possibly bought it that year. The intent was to read this and others (I have another shorter book somewhere) to help gain a better understanding of the religious angle of the English Civil War period. The thing is it's over 1000 pages long! Will I get an understanding or burn out the old nogging?

The Heritage of Persia by Richard N. Frye
First printed in 1962 five years before I was born! I bought it in a second hand book shop because I own a Persian army but I have never quite got round to reading it. My interest has not gone away from the subject, just never had the urge to pick it up and actually read it.

So there you have it, three choices all of which I should read at some point and probably won't unless chosen by you lot, my reading is in your hands. You can vote by selecting the one title you want me to read on the voting toggle on the right of this page and I would love to read in the comments what and why you have picked.

Once I have read the book you have picked and spent some time getting over it I will introduce at least one new book to the list and give you another chance to pick my read.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Building of the Week Whyte Cottage V2 Thatched

Mike continues with his thatched options, this time transforming his Whyte Cottage. Being single story it will work for a number of periods right up to the modern day.

Leven Miniatures continue to broaden their range (this is yet to be released) at an unbelievable rate. They have certainly sent a wake up call to the other 6mm providers but lets be honest no one can match them for their quality to value for money offer and the ever growing range just seals the deal for me.

For all that, this is another simple model, seemingly low on detail yet on a closer look you have enough work put into the building that in fact it's quite charming. Above all other providers Leven seem able to supply a great mix of special and normal buildings allowing the wargamer to build far more realistic mixes of buildings. A quick look at their ranges shows the depth of choice that means you don't have to keep repeating a few buildings just to make a small town on the table.

The four buildings together that I have recently painted for Mike and delivered at the Joy of Six. Looking at his stand I was struck by just how damned good it was, Next was seeing so many different buildings all on the same stand, yes I knew how many he had but seeing MOST of them was still jaw dropping.

You can't see them as clear as in the flesh but consider that each peg on the boards is a different building and you get the idea. Later in the day he had more than a few gaps!

Whyte Cottage