Sunday, 21 February 2016

North Africa Campaign WIP & some 1:1 Scale stuff.

I have been mulling over the possibilities of skirmish gaming recently in an attempt to revive a somewhat flagging gaming hobby. I do like big spectacular games with plenty of figures on the table but pressures of work & other commitments have reduced the opportunities to perhaps one or two games per year. So to try & reverse this trend I am going to paint up a few figures for small unit actions set in the Desert War.

This is the first squad nearly complete in only three evenings of painting. Using vallejo panzer colours & some washes these Perry miniatures paint up really nicely & quickly which is great because my concentration span for painting has declined severely over the last few years.
The box set comes with enough figures to complete a full platoon of 37, but I'm going to assume a little bit of wastage so I can use the alternative heads included on the sprues to make up a small group of LRDG for a bit of variety. This will also give me a valid reason to paint up a couple of vehicles.
This might seem a bit of a departure from my usual wargaming interests but I was clearing out some boxes the other night & found a bag of Airfix 1/32nd scale 'Desert Rats' that I received for my 7th birthday, so its actually gone full circle.

You there, that man! Its all your fault.
In other news I have been busy with the woodworking tools again, in addition to the bows that are currently in production, I spent yesterday in the workshop putting a shaft on this:

This being a sparth axe/ bardiche from the very talented Josef Dawes at White Well Arms. There seems to be some debate over the origins of the berdiche, but the weight of opinion seems to suggest it evolved in Northern Europe from the earlier Danish Axe. I had a session yesterday afternoon trying to figure out how to use it effectively & it is not a subtle tool, requiring quite a bit of room to use & a fair bit of strength. More of this at a later date when I have some time with it.
The other woodworking project is also progressing:

The natural lamination of heart & sapwood that gives yew its characteristic spring.

These are the two longbows mentioned a few weeks back, there is still a way to go with these. It's not a job you can rush, if you remove too much material or remove material in the wrong place the job is buggered so theres a lot of weighing up work going on. Its unusual to find yew of the right quality for bows these days, If I cut 25 pieces in a year only one or two will actually be any good. The best stuff comes from the centre of overgrown yew hedges where the trunks have been forced to grow straight up to the light with very little side growth. Apparently Pacific Yew from Oregon is very good, but this is hard to get hold of in Shropshire so for the time being I will continue to use my closely guarded sources closer to home.


  1. Nice "Desert Rats", HGA. Your pole arms look great. BTW, I recently saw videos of a guy who makes some amazing bows using PVC tubing. He even goes so far as to replicate the color of the appropriate type of wood. Heretical for a wood worker like you, I know, but just figured I'd mention it :)

  2. Cheers Dean, interesting news on the pvc bows. I wonder how they behave in hot weather?
    Regards HGA.