Thursday 31 May 2012

Down on the Farm

Around about this time last year my wife and i were getting ready to return from the Philippines. We had spent 3 weeks with her family and had a great time. The kids beat us up daily, so happy to see us after such a long time and it was sad to leave. While over in the Philippines we had a thought on buying a small plot of land with a view to building a wee house to maybe use as a holiday home and in time even consider building something a little more substantial for when we are old and grey.
Anyway it didn't really turn out exactly how I had planned! Alvin, the brother of my wife cares for plots of land for a good few people and we tasked him with keeping an eye out for a bargain over the next year or 2!! Anyway Alvin mentioned this cracking place going for a song and we ended up buying the land within a couple of weeks of returning home!!!
Only it turns out we bought a fecking farm not a small plot of land. Alvin really done us proud and we have let him make a living from the place while keeping it in good shape for us in the future. The place was a complete jungle and after all the guys hard work it is really beginning to show fruit.
It turned out there was already hardcore and founds set for a large rice mill so these were utilised to make the big structure you see in the pics.
We had walked the land before we went for it but afterwards it turned the boundaries were way beyond what we had estimated.
So the guys have been planting corn, water melon and we have planted hundreds of different smaller fruit trees as well as a banana grove (and of course coconut trees).
A mini melon.
A single banana tree left over from the clearing.
The kids getting ready for a little harvest celebration.
I don't think it was the kids drinking the red horses? No.1 strong beer of the Philippines.
Sorting out the corn.
This was Alvin's 1st harvest so it was a test to see what crops would grow best on the land. By the time of the corn harvest the melons had been picked and sold.
Nikki Noo helping out.
The glamorous Maritese, 1 of my sister in laws.
There have been some great things to come out of our little project. 1st Alvin is loving it and 2nd the kids are having a brilliant time.
And 3rd we discovered that on the land there were a few families living and when we put a well on the land they were able to get a constant source of water.
On the farm we also have some livestock, pigs, goats, chickens, a caribou.
And ducks! It is great to think we are leaving such happy memories in the minds of our nieces and nephews!!!

Nothing to do with wargaming or figure painting but I just wanted to share with you some of our adventures. There is another big area still to be cultivated in time.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Dragoon Command Base

Painting is still slow at the moment with me, however I have managed to complete my AB Russian dragoon command that I started last year (yes you read that right "last years"). I start loads that get pushed to the side until I take the notion again.
 I converted the General a while back and can't quite remember what he looked like originally? I think his hat was in his right hand and I added the sword?
I have painted them for the Kurland dragoons and I have 30 dragoons to go with them but they will be done at a later date (much later knowing me!). For the moment they will be leading my Russian cuirassiers into battle until I complete my cuirassier command base (in progress at the moment).

If you read my last post you will remember that I stripped the trumpeter after painting his lace yellow (as his buttons are brass). Strange seeing him with white lace but he looks fine and that does appear to be accurate for all the dragoon trumpeters of the line (guard having yellow lace).
A funny thing, when I received my dragoons I noticed that all the trumpeters had the early style caterpillar crest on their helmets. I asked Ian at fighting15's and he said that AB never created a figure with the later style helmet crest, hmmm strange? so I had to carve it myself.
When it came to painting the officer and trumpeter I noticed that both appear to have the large gauntlet style glove on their right hand but had the small glove on the left with coat cuff of facing colour over it. All the troopers appear to have the gauntlets so I added the detail needed with green stuff.

My Pavlov's are coming along slowly but are coming along. I have jumped slightly by working on units and command bases that I started a good while back. Thanks to everyone for keeping me on track especially Von B and RTB who fill me in on their own progress and give me loads of encouragement!

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Hitting a Wall

It's been quite a while since my last post, I was originally optimistic about getting a couple of battalions of Pavlov grenadiers finished by the end of April (yeah right!). Well now we are slap bang in the middle of May and I don't even have 1 battalion completed as life as usual has a way of changing my plans. However I am not down hearted as there has been loads going on.

I attended the Falkirk wargames show and spent far to much money on US FOW however we had a great time and probably the best show I have been to? Also I was lucky enough to be voted 2nd place in the painting competition over at La Bricole Forum with my Saxons so I was very pleased with that and it was real fun with loads of nice people involved and well run by Robert for the 1st time out.
  Also I haven't taken the time to thank Dave over at One man and his Brushes for the wonderful gift of the Band of Brothers DVD box set, This is brilliant and I have no idea why I didn't add this to my collection long ago? Dave again thank you and when I get myself together I will look out some goodies for you!
My Pavs, well where to start? After getting through my St. Petersburg Grenadiers in super quick time I thought I would attempt to do all my Pavs at once by doing them a pose at a time. This seems straight forward but as well as the 2 battalions I also have 44 spare figs making 108 figs in total!
I managed the 22 of the 1st pose but this pretty much skunnered me (not sure if this is a real word?) as I spotted a small flaw on the pose that took a good deal of time to correct (see below). 
This is my test figure for the Pavs. The figures are the same poses you get with the regular grenadiers except they have the mitre instead of the 1812 Kiwer. When looking closely at this guy there were a couple of details around the right shoulder I couldn't figure out? I realised the figure had been head swapped from the regular grenadiers and some of the cord detail had been left on the collar (removed on this guy) and also next to the cross belt buckle. I had base coated my figures when I noticed it so had to carefully remove the extra detail. This guy I left as is as he was already finished.
So this is hopefully how my Pavs will turn out although I somehow managed to drop superglue on this figure and that is the shine around the turnbacks (dooh!!!)
I had read many discussions online about the Pavlov mitre and if the officers would also have worn it. My buddy Robert took the easy way out and put all his officers in bicornes instead of kiwer. I went 50/50 with 1 officer of each battalion having a mitre, this is the 2nd officer of the 1st battalion.   
And this will be the 1st officer of the 2nd battalion.
Now some head pickling dragoons! I have a few command stands sitting around needing finished and I  had the commander for this 1 finished ages ago so I decided to complete the 2 dragoons to go along with him. This is where the trouble started, I planned doing the Kurland dragoons with sky blue and brass buttons however my references contradict each other on the lace for the trumpeter as well as some other detail.
My poor trumpeter, I originally painted him with white lace and cords and no colour background to the nests then on reading some more I ended up following the books and over painted yellow lace (button colour) and facing colour nests (this makes sense right?). However it was bugging me as I remember the guard having yellow lace? So I looked again at Greystreaks dragoons and seen that he had went with my 1st approach then I searched on TMP and found a thread from 2008 that confirmed that I had messed up. So as soon as the AP is dry this guy's going for a bath in simple green!
The officer should be fine, however I am now not so sure about the trim around the saddle edge, should this be gold (button colour) or simply sky blue (facing colour)?

Anyway I will continue with my Pavs and stick to a battalion at a time. I noticed recently that my blog now has over 60,000 hits and 161 followers. Thanks a million to everyone and hope you enjoy your visits!