ALY MORRISON'S "BUTTERFLY" ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF WARGAMES AND TOY SOLDIERS

Monday, 10 May 2021

A New Book... And a little quiz...

 Greetings...


I was hoping to show you some more Shiny American Civil Was figures...

Unfortunately when I gloss varnished them...The varnish I use had a weird reaction with the varnish that had previously been used on them... and after four days it still hasn’t dried/cured...

It has however worked on the few areas that had new paint...

I shall leave them in a box for a bit longer and paint some fresh new toys instead....

So the book...


It is in German... but there is lots of eye candy...and of course I really had to have it...










As my German is just about basic... I asked my friend Florian to translate one of the image captions for me...


The caption for this says that the figures are about 55mm tall... Gosh!

Okay a little quiz ...



So can you spot the schoolboy error on this miniature...

I have already challenged a couple of my chums with this... I only noticed what it was as I was undercoating the unit.


All the best   Aly



Monday, 3 May 2021

A New book... And a little Shiny Inspiration.

 Greetings...

Many many years ago when I was nine or ten I remember finding the whole of the Bayeux Tapestry laid out in the back of a volume of the Encyclopaedia Britannica at my Grandparents house...

I was of course mesmerised... And I still find it fascinating to this day.

Recently the History Extra Podcast has run a couple of episodes covering the possible exhibition of this wonderful object in the UK...

https://www.historyextra.com/bayeux-tapestry-exclusive-history-podcast-series/

There is also a book available... 

Of course I had a real need to buy it...


It looks very interesting and I am looking forward to reading it...

There is also an on-line version of the tapestry here...

https://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/en/the-bayeux-tapestry/discover-the-bayeux-tapestry/explore-online/

I highly recommend this... It feels about as close to the object as most of us will get...


I was watching a documentary on BBC iPlayer called A History of Art in Three Colours...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01l9mf8

In the first episode which is about the colour Gold...

The presenter introduces an incredibly expensive diorama/artwork made of gold and enamel... I  have to say I was somewhat blown away by its shiny beauty...

I have managed to find a few images of this rather magnificent object...







These images don’t really give a sense of the size of this piece of shininess...


Yup these are super exclusive toy soldiers...

There are some more images to be found here...

https://www.theheritagelab.in/aurangzeb-birthday-diorama/

The diorama was made by Johann Melchior Dinglinger for Augustus Strong of Saxony...

It is on show at The Green Vault in Dresden.

Here a few relevant links...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus_II_the_Strong

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Vault

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Melchior_Dinglinger

It’s tricky enough painting fine detail on a miniature... let alone doing it in enamel 

I wonder if Augustus played with this toy of his... I know I would have.

Painting is still on the slow side... I got my second Covid vaccination the other day and it has knocked the wind out my sails a bit... the first one wasn’t too bad..

I have however spruced up another unit of shiny American Civil War figures and I am just waiting for some varnish to arrive...

All the best   Aly



Thursday, 29 April 2021

Shiny American Civil War... A bit of Rebasing.

 Greetings...


When I decided that I (Or was it the butterfly?) wanted to delve into some 20mm Shiny American Civil War action my good friend Dave Andrews donated a box of toys he didn’t want to the cause...

As some of the figures were already painted by the man himself I decided to give a unit a coat of varnish and base them up...




Of course having never knowingly left anything alone...

I have added new flags... These came from my stock of the original Flags for the Lads American Civil War range... they were sealed with matte varnish spray before being attached to the standard bearers.

The caps and facings were given a coat sky blue paint and various scuffs and scratches were touched up.

Everything was then given a good coat of gloss varnish.

The figures are by (I believe) Wolfensfeld Miniatures... as far as I know they are no longer in production.

The bases are as always by Warbases...

https://warbases.co.uk/product-category/bases/round-cornered-bases/

I am very pleased with how these have turned out.. the whole process was fairly quick and enjoyable.

As to other projects... I seem to be butterflying about a bit... but I am having fun

We will see what sticks...😁

All the best   Aly


Sunday, 18 April 2021

More New Books...

 Greetings...

Alas I am still not getting a lot of painting in at the moment...

Work has been... well work... and at the end of the day I am mostly up for reading a book, watching a film or listening to some music... of course reading a book with some music on in the background is also an excellent option...

I have however picked up a couple of new books...

The content of both looks to be really good... but I have to say I am not sure about the artwork.

To my taste anyway... the illustrations in one seems rather naive and the other is a bit heavy on the digital art for my liking... each to their own I suppose.

I will read them as I am very interested in the period/subject matter.



Mike Duncan’s The History of Rome Podcast covers this chap in these episodes if you want to know a bit more about him...

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-history-of-rome/id261654474?i=1000343455119

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-history-of-rome/id261654474?i=1000343455322

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-history-of-rome/id261654474?i=1000343455160


My Lion Rampant solo game is still ongoing if a bit slow...



Some action earlier on today...

I have also finished painting and basing my Roman Villa... I will take some pictures when the game is over... also my butterfly is starting to flutter... which is always a good sign.

All the best.  Aly


Sunday, 4 April 2021

An Old Book... and a bit of family history.

Greetings...

Over the weekend I decided to put the Great Library at Morrison Towers into some order...

While looking through... sorry tidying... the many books I came across this little volume...



So... A little bit of family history.

During the Second World War my grandmother worked or possibly managed the cafeteria/tearoom at the Falkirk ice rink... My mother would help out at times but mostly she would skate... She was an excellent skater who won a number of gold medals... 

She also got to know members of  the 1st Polish Armoured Division who were stationed in the area during the war... I believe they would have been part of the HQ 1st Polish Corps.

This book was given as a souvenir to my mother... I am guessing after the war.


Ena is of course my mother... sadly I don’t know anything about Roman.

Here are a few more pages from the book...




















Here is a little bit more information on the 1st Polish Armoured Division and their stay in Scotland.







I remember my mother saying that many of the lads who she new from the ice rink chose to stay in Scotland after the war but I don’t think she kept in touch...

I was hoping to have a bit of a paint-fest this weekend but as I was finishing tidying the books I managed to pull a muscle in my back...
Not picking up a massive volume on Napoleonic uniforms but an Osprey book on the Byzantine Armies 1118-1461... more of a 40 page pamphlet really... age... isn’t it wonderful.

Hopefully it will have eased off by tomorrow...

All the best.   Aly





Monday, 29 March 2021

Butterfly Moments... Shiny American Civil War.

Greetings...

Okay I am calling it a butterfly moment for now... but I think this one has potential.

One of the reasons that it has potential is the fact that David Andrews has given me a big bag of 20mm figures... so it would be rude not to try.

A while back I ordered some samples from Jacklex Miniatures...

http://www.jacklexminiatures.com/american-civil-war

I have to say that Mark Lodge the current owner is a fine fellow to deal with.

I have always liked Jacklex Miniatures, they have a character all of their own... 

I was however taken by surprise by the genuine old school packaging...





Definitely old school...

I seem to remember Minifigs being packed in the same way many many years ago...

It was quite fun digging the toys out...although I am not sure how I would cope with a really large order.

Jesting aside this certainly reduces the amount of plastic packaging and it is recyclable.

So I painted a few up....




I have to say I am very pleased with them... they certainly tick all the shiny boxes.

I will be taking this one slowly for the moment... It’s not like I don’t have anything else to do...

The next shiny Americans will come out of the box of toys David gave me...


All the best    Aly