Monday, 31 December 2018

Welcome to....and farewell to... 2018!

"He drew a deep breath.'Well, I'm back,' he said"

J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings

Thanks Samwise, for the perfectly apt quote, from one of my favourite books - and yes, I'm back. Rather apt, given that Sam says this at the end of the story, and here we are at the end of another year...

So on to 2019, new beginnings, fresh starts and all that malarkey. It's hard to believe that it's over nearly a year and a half - July 2017 (!) that I last wrote on this blog. The reasons for the absence have been varied - a lack of engagement with the day-to-day aspects of the hobby, more than occasional reluctance to pick up the brushes, burn out after finishing off projects, cat-based figure disasters (in not so many words - box of figures, top of stairs, cat, box of broken figures, bottom of stairs - insert appropriate expletives), which set back projects for some time, illness, and above all, a frustration with the technology involved in the writing of the blog itself. This last aspect can't be overstressed - basically our old family laptop and my previous phone were so slow, which meant that downloading, organising, storing and uploading photos was taking ages, and it led to the writing aspect of the blog becoming quite stressful. In essence - it was a chore, and I didn't enjoy it. It took too long to be worth it. Richard Clarke of Too Fat Lardies fame, nailed it on the head for me when musing on wargaming blogs, when he suggested that blogs should be written when the writer feels like it - as much or as little as one wants. It shouldn't be a chore, and should be enjoyable. In my case, it was certainly more of the former and way too little of the latter.

But new tech, and inspiration from other bloggers, as well as the turn of the new year, and ideas for fresh projects, has meant that I'm ready to kickstart things again. This time around, and in the future, it will definitely be a case of quality over quantity - posts on a more regular basis, but when I want (not less than once a month though), and showing real progress in my painting and modelling.

So have I totally stepped away from the hobby over the last 17 or so months? No, not totally - my Sudan project has been completed to a usable collection of figures, and was all ready to go for a demo game at one of our local wargaming shows. Sadly illness and the cat/figure disaster conspired against me, which meant things had to be put on hold on that front, but I've decided to add to the existing forces for a bigger game next year. I've finished off another desert scenery board. I've also discovered 'What a Tanker!', and had a few very enjoyable games of this, with family and friends.

A Hovels, with some scratch built walls by me

Scenery for my Mahdist Sudan wars game

Fuzzy-wuzzies on the loose!

Some of Queen Victoria's finest - metals this time, after the 'Cat' disaster...

Progress on the terrain boards

The start of a A9 for What a Tanker - Skytrex 15mm metal
Game night in Derby - trying out What a Tanker!

I've been inspired by 'Chain of Command' and have plans to get create some forces for this - probably for the North African Campaign, with the 8th Army pitted against the DAK. Over the next few posts I'll discuss these in more detail. It's also time for a new project, and the coming year - 2019 - will be very much the year of the Dark Ages. I've got a lot ideas swirling round my head at the moment.

In all, it's a big hello once more from me, goodbye (hopefully) to the problems of the past, and a big warm welcome to another year, and a fresh start to the hobby. I'll take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy, peaceful and productive 2019, and watch this space - 'I'm back!'...