Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grenzers, a Minerva and my new portable hobby desk

Followers of my blog may have noticed that I haven't posted anything for a bit and I haven't visited them for a while either.  I apologise for my recalcitrance but in recent weeks I have returned to work.  I've had a nice  hiatus for nearly six months since retiring but decided in the interest of financial well-being (and the fact the pension was not quite enough to live on!) to return to work - for a few days a week anyway.  Its been quite a challenge but things appear to be progressing quite smoothly now and the time is right to post on my much neglected blog once more.

For starters I am going to give a shameless plug to my mate Dean who is my wargaming supply pimp, fellow Saints (AFL footy) tragic but otherwise the proprietor of Olympian Games.  The link to his very useful site can be found under the Olympian symbol on the left hand side of my blog, just a short scroll down from the blog banner.  Deano is not only a supplier of all manner of wargaming goodness, but a talented crafter of such things himself.  He has a huge range laser cut precision MDF bases and has recently been producing to exact scale large sections of paved road as befits any European town for 28mm (with Bolt Action gaming in mind). I'm sure a range of buildings will follow!

They are also of sturdy MDF in amazing detail BUT the thing I want to plug is his latest invention - the portable hobby desk.  At 58 cm long and 30 deep, it will sit perfectly on a worktable or your lap, coffee table etc etc.  It has a spacious tray rack over and made of sturdy MDF it is light and portable but strong.  At $AUS 48 its a tad pricey but it comes assembled and more than makes up for it in usefulness. (Dean may produce them in flat-packs for slightly less - but you'd have to ask). The only thing I've done to it was give it a coat of varnish to waterproof. It helped me get my hopelessly crowded work table sorted and provided me with a get-up-and-go option!  For harassed space-challenged Aussie gamers looking for somewhere - anywhere - to paint and assemble their armies and models, the Olympian portable hobby desk is the answer.

Check it out:

Now the shameless plug is out of the way, the first item on the blog menu is my Austrian Grenzer battalion. They sat there half finished for ages while I wrestled with finishing renos at home then getting back into the swing of things at work but I finally finished them - my first job on my new hobby desk/tray, desk tray,  hobby whatever!

They are of course part of my huge Perry's order which will take me until my age 65 retirement to work through!  Part of the Perry's new (metal) range of Napoleonic Austrians, they are finely crafted figures indeed.  Just be aware that they are fine - not chunky like FR or Foundry - and the slim bases will bend if hot-glued to the ice-cream stick for painting, so be careful getting them off!  They have a little flash here and there, as most Perry's do (I've spoken about this on previous posts) but nothing too bothersome.  

The unit I decided to depict is the redoubtable Warasdiner St George from the Balkan frontier of the Empire - a very fearsome lot that gave the French quite some bother (and a good flogging or two).  The facings are interesting as most have them in a shade of red ranging from dull brick to fire-engine.  All are wrong as it was Krabberot - crab red - which is a very dark orange rather than red.  Likewise their cloaks - also red - are actually a very dark shade, almost oxblood. With the sky-blue Hungarian trousers with yellow sword knot trim, they are a very colourful lot too.  I am confident the colours are correct as THE authority on all things Austrian Dave Hollins got together with my mate Dal's American partner in crime Mike McGilverey (the old Spanner and the Yank crew) and published an accurate list on the Deep Fried Mice site.  Worth a visit if, like me, you are a pedant on all things Awww-stri-an. 

The last item on the blog menu is a WWI Belgian Minerva armoured car.  I've been threatening to do one of these for years - ever since I acquired a couple in one of my interminable trades with my lead-pimp Doug.  Like the Grenzers, the Minerva sat around in various stages of construction for a very long time - even after I went to the trouble of transplanting some nice heads in tassled caps for the crew to make them early war (1914-15 to be exact).  It really is a beautiful model and very satisfying to make - my second completion on the new hobby table!

I have complete armies for 1914 Belgians and Germans with a skirmish game in mind but it would involve a huge amount of painting so they've been relegated to my list of 'to-dos' - right at the top mind you!

Well, thats the last of it for a bit - still got hordes of Napoleonics and ACW to finish, as well as a bit of gaming - hopefully have something to post on the latter soon.