Sunday, 1 January 2017

OK, 2017 Is Here... So What Will I Be Doing Hobby Wise This Year?

Firstly, a very happy an prosperous new year to you all, whomever and wherever...

Well, 2016 was taken firmly by the collar and belt hooks last night and thrown out the door, as we played our first game of the Labyrinth boardgame by Riverhorse. It's a great little game with simple and elegant rules - It relies on hitting the ground running and working as a team. Believe me, it's a challenging game.

As is usual at our New Years Eve shindig (all welcome if we know you) there were copious amounts of well decanted port including one which came to me from the estate of my Grandmother who passed away a couple of months ago, and so it was apt to share this bottle and toast her memory and indeed the memories of absent friends and relations in general.

The food consisted of a wonderfully retro selection of vol au vents in about a dozen flavours, cheese, pineapple, onions, maraschino cherries,and two kinds of sausage presented in the approved manner on cocktail sticks.

The star of the evening to the more adventurous epicureans was the creamed 'No Blue Monday' cheese with loganberry sauce, followed closely by the mushroom and chicken dressed with chive and fresh mushroom, and tuna with cucumber and red chilli.

Anyway, I have emerged from the land of morpheus and I am now considering what I will do with my hobby this year.

First off, I have ordered 3 new model railway layouts for my studio, once again engaging Steve Hornsey for the duration, as he is simply the best man for the job.

All 3 are narrow gauge 009 scale. The first one is 6 feet and is an interesting one as the entire layout is set inside a distillery with the entire rails set into cobblestones, The train services the various parts of the brewery from the cooperage, to stills, to the road transport shed.

The second one is also 6 feet and represents the private railway of a country estate, with a station for 'His Lordship' to receive guests and to board his private carriage to 'go into town' as the notion is that the railway links through to the nearby town adjacent to the mainline station. Also featured are the estate goods shed for the shipment of supplies to and from the estate, along with a sheep loading dock.

The final plan is a 009 take on the Hook Basin layout which you can see here:

http://thoroughbredlimited2015.yolasite.com/resources/Clinic_Presentations/Gliebe%20Designing%20small%20shelf%20Layouts%20for%20operating%20fun%202015-2.pdf

It's an interesting layout, and Steve has agreed to produce it as a 12 foot by 1 foot layout which in the 20mm wargames equivalent scale of 009 will allow a good chunk of scenic detail to be added. It's got great scope for some rather wonderful vignettes.

So that has taken care of the first £1800 for the year.

Wargames-wise I'm thinking of spending some money on Essex Miniatures 25mm Fantasy models and on the re-released Minifigs Valley Of The Four Winds range.

I know that some of you will think that I am out of my mind, but I love those figures and always have. They are about as 'genuine' as you can get, particularly the Essex stuff. They have a real charm, and those of you who are of a similar mind and vintage, will recall that they featured regularly in the review pages of White Dwarf, painted exquisitely. They are great models and look wonderful, in units. What's more, they have bags and bags of character.

The VFW figures are a little more obscure in that you admittedly have to be a fan of the Minifigs style, but again, painted properly, they are a real blast from the past and again, have character.

In terms of historical gaming, I will be weighing up the choices, but I am certainly starting with two fleets of Navwar 1/1200th Renaissance naval vessels. These are again, simple models but back in the 80s I spent one of the most memorable Christmas Eves of my life drinking martini with my best school pal, playing our first game of this type using those ver models and the Navwar rules which were simple and fun. We also had our first taste of Peter Gabriel's first solo album and it made for a surreal assault of the senses, one I've not forgotten in over 30 years.

I'll be at the Vapnartak show in York at the start of February and then the following week, at the Festival Of British Railway Modelling in Doncaster, both of which are big shows and examples of how events of the type should be run.

Rumours abound of the Sheffield Triples returning as a one day show, but I can't see it being in 2017 and that means that it will be competing with another Sheffield show which is already slated to fill the old Triples date from 2018. Interesting times...

And so, that's as far as I have got with my plans for the year ahead, or at least for the first quarter of the year. Let's see how it goes...


All the best for 2017!


TTFN

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