Friday, 27 March 2015

18th century coach (MarkII)

The first one was the test Piece, what materials work, what´s possible and to get a feel for building such a thing and It turned out better than I thought but improvements can be made, so why not try a  Mark II.

Again, this  carriage will end up in Bodstonia.

This time no balsawood, just Card,  a bit of insulating foam (the seat) and some Florist wire.
The the nags are from the Strelets Norman Train set, the wheels from the bits box.
The towing bar in this pic was later changed.

Again, a seated coachman will have to be found (or created ) at some Point.
Anyway, it´s taken it´s place in Bodstonia.. in Symphonie´s day out  :-D

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

18th century coach

Bodstonia Needs some other Transport other than carts and wagons, especially for the more "well off" and less robust gentile Folks. Anyway, this was a test Project which, although being a wee bit bigger than originally intended,it slowly  took shape, I liked the look of it and decided not  to trash it.
Wheels from various Airfix sets, the window decoration from an old railway kit,  everything else Card or balsawood.
Getting the straps the right length so the "box" part would sit Level was a pain
A Coachman will be added when a suitable bod is found.
Cheeky chap! Johnathan Johanssen  is trying out the new carriage

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Roman Transport 3 - Strelets

Another Addition to the Roman Transport line  from strelets. This one  seems to depict a slave round up Scene but seeing as there´s a wagon involved it passes for a Transport set.
13 bods (two as a pair and 14 if the Infant is counted) 2 oxen and 1 wagon.

 
"Is that a gladius under your Sagum  or are you just pleased to see me?"
From left to right;
1.Farmer about town. I reckon he was to be leading one of the bulls but he makes a decent enough "stand alone" bod.
2.Casual onlooker. I´ve painted up the object he´s eating as a pomegranate, seems more Roman style than a "common" apple (although they treated apples etc as luxury items)
3. Riddled walker. He was carrying a Whip in his right Hand but seeing as there are bods with Whips in a couple of the previous sets, I thought another was unecessary so he ended up with a  replacement Walking stick.
4. Concerned onlooker. Judging by her clothing and jewellry she isn´t connected to the other slaves..if she was she would have been relieved of her jewels etc pretty quickly.
The prison wagon.
Fits together well, although releasing the parts from the sprue and the following cleaning up does take a while.
As always, the scheme for attaching the beasts to the wagon leaves a lot to be desired, the pic Shows the set up as OOB.
Still, after a lot of carefull snipping and "spotwelding" (Holding a hot pin to turn the plastic on two pieces liquid and run into each other) the Cage and the Roof together, adding a scratchbuilt towing bar (metal rod heated up and welded to the bottom of the wagon) it doesn´t look too bad.
Seeing as there is no indication of  a door (a good idea would to have been to add a lock and hinges to one of the pieces that make up the Ends of the Cage ) I´ve added a Piece of jewelly chain to give an Illusion of  there being some way of opening the back.
Above and below the chain, you can see the result of the "spotwelding" . Now the whole Thing is fixed  together I can remove Them but for the purposes of the pic I haven´t.
Seeing as it has  more of a  Fantasy look to it (it´s chunky design) I may  use it for the Goblin Slavers

Monday, 16 March 2015

WotR´s Scurrers (Redbox)

....or  scurriers /scourers / prickers or Hobilars...loads of different names and a lot of different ways of spelling them...
This lot are from the Red box WotR´s range and very welcome they are.

 
Arms, armour and clothing are all well done, vitually no Flash, the only one small annoyance, the nags. Like the Mounted Men-at-arms set, there´s too few nag poses, only two in the set which means 6 running or 6 Standing nags.
The Lances. They are a bit too short for my liking, the average seems to been around  9 - 14 feet Long (3 - 4 plus) meters so I´ve replaced them.
 
At first I thought the one shading his eyes had been molded wrong, he just wouldn´t sit flat in the saddle but obviously he is Standing in the stirrups to get a better view.
 
The bod on the left has had the axe replaced with a Lance, the bod on the right is from the Mounted men-at-arms set, with a head swop from the Redbox Town & County Levy set...........
Either he is trying to Keep his balance or waving
...........and from the mounted Men-at-arms set, another two conversions. Basic head swops and the bod on the right has had his mace replaced with a Lance.

I´ll wait with basing up the Scurrers until I´ve got the European Mercenaries Light Horse set. Hopefully there will be enough to make up 3 bases of five per base.

 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Medieval salt transport

A man can live without Gold or silver, but not without salt.
Often quoted as being "as expensive weight for weight, as Gold" (a statement I cannot find any confirmation for) it certainly influenced the  creation and  destruction of Empires.
A quick scan of the Internet gave These examples , among many others;
 
In China, Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, (who  apparently is credited with invented writing, the bow and arrow, the cart, and ceramics),  precided over what is considered as  the first salt war.
 
The city of Rome may have begun as a salt-trading Center.
 
The salt mines of Poland led to a vast kingdom in the 16th century, only to be destroyed when Germans brought in sea salt. The Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland was started in 1280 and went on producing until 2007!!
 
Venice fought and won a war ( War of Ferrara) with Genoa over salt.
 
The gabelle—a hated French salt tax—was enacted in 1286 and maintained until 1790. Because of the gabelles, common salt was of such a high value that it caused mass population shifts and exodus, attracted invaders and caused wars and was one of the causes of the French Revolution.
 
The Moscow uprising of 1648 is sometimes known as the salt riot, started because of the government's replacement of different taxes with a universal salt tax.
 
Thousands of Napoleon's troops died during the French retreat from Moscow due to inadequate wound healing and lowered resistance to disease - the results of salt deficiency.
 
During the american revolutionary war of 1812, salt brine was used to pay soldiers in the field, as the government was too poor to pay them with Money. and during the ACW, Salt production facilities in Saltville, Va., Virginia's Kanawha Valley and Avery Island, Louisiana, were early targets of the Union Army. The North fought for 36 hours to capture Saltville, Va., where the salt works were considered crucial to the Rebel army - so crucial that Confederate President Jefferson Davis offered to waive military service to anyone willing to tend coastal salt kettles to supply the South's war effort.
 
So, you can see it was important...and highly prized in less industrial times, the cost in the mid 14th Cent was 60 times higher when compared to the period just beforeWWI.
Important because it was used for preservation of foodstuffs and necessary to Keep livestock healthy..an army with sick horses has a huge disadvantage.
Highly prized because it´s production was Manpower intensive, distances from production to end sale/use Long and difficult and therefore costly.
That being the case...any medieval (or come to that pre-motorization) army would have some form of salt supply in the "wagon Train" ..and it would Need guarding.
As far as I can find out, salt was stored and transported in casks (Barrels) .The cask for transport by donkey  was 107 pounds (55 kg)
While salt may or may not have had the same value as Gold it would have been important so it´s Position in the Train would have been central with lots of soldiery (the word soldier Comes from Sal = Salt) around it
 
 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Medieval Camp Followers (Pt 1)

Every Military Train up until the industrial Age /Mechanisation  (and to some degree they still have some form of camp followers, Private contractors etc )  had large numbers of  civilians following the army on it´s travels.

Camp followers were informal army service providers, servicing the needs of encamped soldiers, in particular selling goods or services that the military does not supply—These  included cooking, laundering, liquor, nursing, sexual services and sutlery ( selling provisions to an army in the field, in camp, or in quarters)

Camp followers were both a support and drain on an army. On the plus side, They provided valuable Services as above . However, camp followers needed to be guarded and  policed; camp followers could be among the most determined scavengers and looters after battles and whilst on the march
This Camp follower contingent could be huge, as in the case of the Tross (baggage Train) of the Landsknecht mercenary regiments . A  1,000-man regiment would be accompanied by up to 500 women and  300 children.

Anyway..history over...part one of the Camp followers.....
The cart is scratch built from CD casing and toothpicks (as HERE ) The luggage is a mix from different makes, including some bit´s from 1/32nd scale WWII kits.
The goat is a conversion (head swop) from The Pegasus Farm Animals set.  The Girl leading it is from the Imex American Pioneers set . She was Holding her Mothers Hand but got an arm swop with the Boy in the set.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

War of the Roses - Mounted Men - at - Arms

War of the Roses Set number 6 from Redbox...Mounted Men at Arms.
The artwork on the back of the box  really doesn´t do this set justice, they are very very nice. Hopefully this will be the same for the next set, War of the Roses 9. European Mercenaries Light Horse.
12 bods and 12 nags. 6 individual poses for the bods, and my only complaint, and it´s a small one, is there are too few horse poses..only 2.
The horse armour. Historical "purists" might be thinking "English cav mostly went without armour on the horses.. no chanfrons (or not commonly) , crinets,  mail, peytrals and cruppers"   so I´ve painted this lot up as Richard´s Bodyguard ..so that´s my excuse for all the armour.

The "purists" could use the nags from the Redbox Scurrers or any number of other medieval sets.
Hardly any Flash that Needs removing (there´s one or two mold lines nbut easily dealt with using a razorblade)  and the nags stand up after having the mold channels disguised as Little "clumps of grass" removed from thier legs.
6 poses but there´s 8 nags and riders in the pic? Ok..I´ve been converting again :-)
Clubs and Hammers.  On the scan of the bods over at PSR (LINK) the bod on far left of the top row is clearly  Holding the hammer  the wrong way around. This is easily resolved..cut it off and turn (I´ve replaced it with one from a Valdemar weapons set)
I hate painting the swirly bits on Lances!!!!
Another small (and due to the molding process, probably unavoidable) the rear part of the Lance is missing.  Again, easily fixed. Bit of stretched sprue, short Piece of wire  to pin it to the rear of the arm of the rider..finished.
The only two nag poses.

Standard bearer. Head swop with a zvezda French Knight, Florist wire flagpole, flag printed.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Warriors of the Dead - Command

This lot come in pairs with each of Dark Alliance´s "Dead" Cavalry sets, The Musicians in the Light warriors of the dead cavalry, the Standard bearer and King in the heavy warriors of the dead cavalry.
The bod Comes with standard/flag that is molded draped over the arm supporting it...and due to the folds  it  makes it near impossible to paint the Thing..unless they are painted up just as ghosts.
 
Solution? Cut the molded flag off at Hand Level (You can just about see his boney fingers Holding the staff )  remove the bottom part of the staff, and carefully trim away and excess plastic to give a rough arm shape. Add New Staff and when the bod is painted, add the printed flag. This then gets folded and creased around the arm to cover up  the fact it´s not a perfectly molded arm.
 
The way is shut.
It was made by those who are Dead.
And the Dead keep it.
The way is shut.
Until the time Comes.

Anyway, the bods will be used as medieval Revenants, visible ghosts or animated corpses that  return from the grave to terrorize the living. (Revenant" from the Latin word, reveniens, "returning")

A really good article on Medieval  Wraiths, revenants and Rituals  HERE

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And my pet "hate" at the Moment :-D

Log out of FB and your web browsing is still being watched by..?....FB. How? Part of signing up (who honestly read the Terms and conditions?) gives them the right to  tracker  your browser!!!

But..all is not lost....this free easy to use (trust me, it´s easy and free ) Little app added to your browser sends them (and a couple hundred more tracking A-Holes) packing,  

Blur - Donottrackme

You get to see which trackers are at which sites, here it´s google..obviously.
Since I uploaded it (yesterday) It´s blocked 257 trackers to the time of writing this..including FB, which had a like /share link on a News site and to most Blogs which are linked to FB.

You can still use FB etc but FB says;
 "Your browser or device may allow you to block these technologies, but you may not be able to use some features on Facebook if you block them"
Ah!! Didums!!..Boo frickety hoo!! 
and what Features may they be? The trackers that collect our data and sell them on?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Light Warriors of the Dead Cavalry (Dark Alliance)

As per titel..the light Version of the heavy cavalry..except I´ve swopped the nags with caparisons into the heavy cav unit, the ones without into the light cav.
Would the "dead" have or Need specific Ratings for thier Units? It would be as difficult to deal with one dressed in  Shorts, T-shirt,  flip-Flops and armed with bad language as one smothered from head to toe in Inch thick plate armour and armed with a chainsaw.
A great set, the only Thing missing..a mounted Musician  / Signaller. The set Comes with two musicians, a Drummer and a horn Player but they are on foot
Close ups. (not all the poses)
The "Missile" section. The arms on the Crossbow were non-existant so I created some with a staple.
Note to self; Next time take more care in removing the excess plastic between the nags ears
Nosferatu?
As with the heavy cav set, I´ll definately get These   again, the conversion potential I can see with both These sets combined with the infantry set is huge,   doubling  the number of poses, if not more,  is definately possible.

All the Light and Heavy cavalry together.

and nope..I ain´t finished with FB..not yet....and nor are a few other People...
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/19/native-american-activist-facebook-lawsuit-real-name
Ok..they probably aint got a hope of winning but it Shows  that the  policy   (although understandable) as being a bit dumb and hitting the wrong target.

Interesting is this, quoted from the linked article;
"Having people use their authentic names makes them more accountable, and also helps us root out accounts created for malicious purposes, like harassment, fraud, impersonation and hate speech"

That, IMHO, is complete S**t... They already have ways of blocking People who are using FB for "malicious" purposes, but they don´t. For example, some of the racist /Sexist stuff on FB is dreadfull to say the least or the Impersonation, like the  use of a UK School Girl´s Photos by someone pretending to be her..   reported recently  on the BBC.
Did any of the native americans etc  create accounts "for malicious purposes, like harassment, fraud, impersonation and hate speech" ?
Added to that;
Providing ID doesn´t prove the Person with the account is in fact who they say they are. Do they personally meet every single Person to confirm that is in fact the Person in the ID´s photo? In fact, criminals are more likely to be able  to provide  falsified ID and then happily use FB for Malicious purposes. It makes Fraud  and Impersonation easier.
And...women who get married /divorced  (and some men come to that) and had an FB account at the time of marriage  or divorce  in thier Birth / married Name  (or visa versa )    automatically break this "no use of a psydonym" rule...as do a lot of Celebrities from the Film and Music worlds. Michael Jackson, for example,  still has an FB account which gets regularily updated.
Maybe I´m out of touch, but  isn´t re-Animation / coming back from the dead still a Sci-fi idea? And if anyone did..why would they spend thier days feckin about on FB?
Come to that..why does anyone?