Monday, 19 December 2016

A few words

Whilst I am filled with carpaccio of beef, raw garlic and bloody good red wine, let me use it as an excuse to say that I love and respect all of you whom I have known since I was but a youth, and although some of you may think I hold you in disdain, I will say on the record that it is not the case, and that its my way of coping. You have all played your part in my life and I'm grateful and pleased to know you.

To my DS3 and latterly FB friends I will say that I do indeed think of you as friends. Coming from someone who only interacts with people whom I find interesting, please reflect and accept my hand.

And those of you who have got inside my defences since my forays into gaming in 1980 both as peers and GW 'untouchables' ( you know who you are) will probably know me well enough to know that you are as close as anyone in my blood family. Indeed some of you were regulars at the family manse in the 80s and are every bit my brothers and sisters. Some of you in SWS may also on reflection appreciate the part you played and play in my life, whether you realised it until now.

Thanks all, for being who you are. 2016 has been crappy, but 2017 looms large.

Sunday, 11 December 2016


If anyone has a copy of the old 'Encounter 2' sci-fi skirmish rules by Starfleet Studies or TTG, and would sell them to me for £10, please drop me a line.


Friday, 9 December 2016

A Change In Scales

As is now pretty obvious, I'm as addicted to railway modelling these days as I am wargaming, so it will come as no surprise to hear that I have this morning, just commissioned two new shelf layouts from my 'go to' builder, Steve Hornsey.

As usual I am looking for something different and so, this time I have decided on narrow gauge 009 scale, which in short is OO scale scenics but track which is, in all but the spacing of the sleepers (if you use 'proper' 009 stuff) N scale.

The first layout is going to be set inside the walls of a distillery, and the entire groundwork will be cobbled with the rails set into it - something that Steve portrays really well. It has a lot of potential for nice scenery and vignettes as materials, barrels to be filled and filled barrels being moved down to the road transport sheds.

The second layout will be set in the 1920s on the estate of a member of the gentry. It will feature his Lordship's private station, engine and carriage shed and then at the other end of the layout the loading dock for estate livestock as well as  small inbound goods shed for delivery of large goods from the local mainline station to the estate. The top right line will vanish behind the back scene representing the link out from the estate, to the local main line station.

Again, there's a lot os cope here for some nice vignettes and slices of 'Downton' and 'Wodehouse'.

Both are constrained to 6 feet by 1 foot to sit on my studio walls and will as always be fully automated and wired for digital control using my NCE Powercab system.

Also, as normal I'll be doing the bulk of the scenic work and I will of course post pics of it progressing.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Sheffield Wargames Society Committee Change

The AGM of SWS was held on 23 November 2016

An entirely new committee was elected as follows:

Chairman - Tim Gow

Secretary - John Armatys

Treasurer - Graham Northing

Show Secretary - Pete Scholey

Publicity Officer - Cy Harrison

It has been speculated that there is a high probability of  a show returning to Sheffield. My personal guess would be 2018 at a smaller venue, lasting one day. It can be seen that for the most part, this new committee could be seen as progressive and 'safe pairs of hands' and I for one, wish them well in their endeavours.

Monday, 5 December 2016

So Long To 2016... PLEASE!

I am really beginning to think that the sooner 2016 is out of the way the better.

Real life keeps rubbing up against my hobbies in a none to friendly manner, and I confess it's beginning to really piss me off.

Exactly a week ago now my wife's car was hit on the M1 between Leeds and Sheffield by a large articulated truck delivering to Aldi, which, carried her 100 or so yards along the motorway, spinning her sideways and depositing her into (and thankfully there was one) the hard shoulder.

The driver accepted responsibility at the scene, and the police informed my wife that they did not expect her to be found alive, but, thankfully she was saved by being in a Skoda Yeti. She spent the next day at the hospital and was not brain damaged, nor was she a 'walk talk, die' case, but she is internally battered about and quite severely whiplashed.

Let me tell you, relieved at her survival is not the world.

And so, as she was not fit to make it on Saturday and had to also deal with the paperwork for upcoming court case, I went to a wargames show on my own for the first time since I was 12, and made the journey to Pudsey by train on for Recon, a show I had thought long extinct. It was a nice parochial show with a good vibe, but I tell you, I was lonely. I had never quite fully realised just how much my wife's company contributed to the basic enjoyment of my hobby. I'll not voluntarily repeat that.

I was in low mood, still contemplative and certainly not conversational with the few people I conversed with. I left after 2 hours which is no reflection of the show.

I must state for the record that Recon is back on my radar. £6.30 got me in to the show, an excellent sausage sandwich and a large, fresh cup of coffee, so that even with my return train fares, I spent under £20.

My only critical comment would be that the organisers should cut down on the number of re-sellers peddling the same two or three ranges and trying to cute their profits to get a sale.

On a personal note, I have managed to contract a respiratory infection which was exacerbated by a day of travelling in the cold, when I was already a little frayed. Now, 10 days before I close for Christmas I am trying to work against the clock whilst being in rather severe discomfort.

To cap what was frankly a shitty week, I was informed the other day that an old gaming buddy had passed away. We wee both about the same age, band although we were pretty good mates in the mid 80s, the late 80s saw us go our own ways after an event which I could not forgive until about 2011. We last met whilst at the Christmas 2014 gig by former Marillion front man 'Fish', where we hugged, wished each other Merry Christmas and called each other names in good humour. Paul's last words to me were 'Merry Christmas you miserable old bastard.'

Those words I will always recall with a smile.

I wish that we could have undone the knot that was tied a quarter of a century earlier, because I think that things would have been so much different. A mutual friend told me at the weekend that Paul would have given anything for it to never have taken place. So would I.

It's funny how you just carry on with arguments and grudges so often, until something causes them to be put into actual context. I have focussed for so long on the dark part of what transpired, but on the up side, without that, I'd have not in a roundabout way have met my wife, raised a daughter or written a book.

Rest in peace Paul, and if we do meet again, let's talk more...