Friday, 26 July 2013

Some gentle musings on a summer night

Some gentle musings in this hot weather

First up I apologise for the lack of posts in the last few weeks, to be honest by the time I have sweated my way back home out of London on South West Trains the only things I have wanted to do are to crack open a cold lager and have a shower. The idea of painting, terrain building or even just mucking around in the shed have been at the back of my mind. However I have put this lack of mojo behind me and hopefully the next few weeks will see some increased activity.

Interestingly the lack of posts don’t seem to have dented the number of hits the blog has been achieving on a daily basis. Averaging over 150 a day suggests that the content I seem to have amassed is still generating interest. I am also pleased to be on target to achieve the goals I set my self for the end of the year (both hits and followers).

The big project on the go at the moment is my ‘tales of Shedwood’ – I have almost finished the men at arms and knights and whilst clearing out the shed I found almost 30+ peasant type figures I’d bought from Black Tree many moons ago. These will serve well as villagers and other serfs. All I need to find are Robin Hood and his merry men.

Serfs & Peasants (& a Monk)

On the gaming front most of the action has been focussed on Saga – I think I have posted three AARs, all tight games and there is another waiting to be posted in the wings. It is a great game and I would whole heartedly recommend this for any Dark Age fans. I may even use the ruleset to develop the Robin Hood themed game.

If you are interested in getting into the Saga theme a small recommendation. The Saga dice are expensive £8 for a set of eight custom dice. Wanting to test out the other boards (I only have Anglo Dane & Viking Dice) I sourced 24 plain unmarked dice on the internet for £3. When I get round to it I’ll draw on the symbols using a permanent marker. To be fair to the publishers they do suggest this as an alternative.

Plain dice sourced on Amazon

On the domestic front I am trying to curtail the purchases for my hobby but certain events have conspired to get in the way. I was saddened to hear the demise of Modelzone on the high street and I did feel a little guilty when I visited my local Kingston store top see what could be had for a bargain. Some £200 later I bought a lifetimes worth of paint, woodland scenics and other various bits and bobs. Working on the principle that these would get used one day I thought it was a worthwhile investment. Frustrated by the demise of this chain I even wrote to the founder of the business, who was rumoured by the press to be interested in a takeover. In my letter I highlighted the Wargames opportunity that I had always felt had been missed by Modelzone in the years that I had frequented the stores, and I went onto suggest that if the rumoured takeover were to take place I could offer my services as a consultant to bring this offer to life. With a senior management background in retail, marketing and above all a passion for the hobby I genuinely felt that I could add value to the business. Needless to say I never received a reply.

It always amuses me that there are probably plenty of retail businesses out there that benefit from our hobby and are probably none the wiser that some of their customers are buying their products for a use they hadn’t even considered. A good example of this are the ranges sold by aquatics centres for fish tanks. Its my guess that a small but significant proportion of stone ruins, plastic plants, and other paraphernalia never end in a tank but end up on a wargames table. I am also bemused as to why individuals fork out small fortunes for this sort of stuff at the various shows when  a trip to the local aquatic store will reap much bigger savings.

Until next time....


  1. Love peasants. Can't wait to see how you have these painted up.

  2. great musing I always day dream about opening my own shop and the things I could sell. Shame its will always be a pipe dream as I haev seen 3 model shops open and close in my town in only 3 years which tells me the market is dead in my town
    Peace James

    1. Dreams are important, they help to push us forward

  3. Reguarding the Saga dice, it is possible to download the symbols from the forum (in the armoury section, note you must be logged in to access it)and print them off. Then just cut them out using a ruler and scalpel and stick to the dice. I stuck them on by using the paint on varnish from vellejo (the matt one). Mine are still going strong nearly two years and many games later. I simply painted an appropriate sized square onto the dice with the varnish, then just plopped the cut out symbol on top.
    Very quick and very easy, and lasts well.