Thursday, November 25, 2010

Samuel David Horne

It's time to let the cat out of the bag and welcome to the world our newest addition, Sam. Sam was born today at 3.25 in the afternoon after a five-hour labour.

He's about two hours' old in the photo and has had his first meal of colostrum. Yumm-o!

We have had quite a nervous time with his gestation as his mum who lives with type one diabetes had a very bad hypo at about the 14 week stage of the pregnancy. I came home from work in the middle of the day on a panicky hunch to find Amy unconcious on the bed with our little girl Erin quietly sitting next to her.

Well, what with Ambulances, a trip to the Emergency Department and a week in hospital for mummy, we nearly forgot about the potential effect on baby.

Still what with MRIs that they can perform on baby whilst still in the womb, we were sufficiently re-assured and the result was well worth it and well worth the wait.

And his big sister seems hardly jealous at all.

No, I wasn't wearing a Violent Femmes t-shirt during the birth this time, but I'm bloody well wearing it now. I think I'll put the CD on. You know which one.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Things You Find... Redux

On a hunch tonight after I got home from work I combed through a little-regarded storage area here at home.


Perhaps it's a sign that I have too much toy-soldiery whan I discover troops that I have not only forgotten, but forgot when I last worked on them. Still, it's a nice surprise.

Starting with the Castaway Arts stuff:

Half a dozen Hadendowah Camels and riders - 90% painted.
A dozen "ansar" Cavalry minus their horses - 40% painted.
Ten "early" Ansar. Just need basing and a few weapons and shields painted.
A handful of Egyptian regular infantry and Bashi-Bazouks, about 80% completed.

Then there's the Conoisseur stuff.
40 Naval brigade, about 65% painted.
A handful of asorted Highlanders, bare metal.

I've taken this and added it all to my painted/painting lists and feel I ought to be able to come up with the following by about January:


3 units Ansar
1 unit early Ansar
1 unit Jihadiyya rifles
1 unit of cavalry

4 units Hadendowah
1 unit Hadendowah rifles
1 unit of Camelry

4 units of infantry
1 field gun battery

4 units of Infantry in Home Service Dress
2 units of Naval Brigade
1 unit Yorks & Lancs Infantry
1 unit of Camel Corps
1 unit of Hussars

So, now that I've stopped hugging myself, what to do with this bounty?

Looking at the British, I am thinking seriously about Wolseley's 1882 campaign against 'Urabi. Lots of appeal there for me, and incentive to build up my Egyptians and my Highlanders, too. I could use my Krupps and build lots of field fortifications as I seem to enjoy doing.

The Egyptians would let me defend Khartoum, any number of desolate garrisons, or let me see if Hicks Pasha might ever have stood a fighting chance.

Another possibility that occours is a campaign based on the Desert Column. The naval Brigade could proxy for some of the camel corps. The British would take a little more building, but the Sudanese are nearly there, I feel. An interesting element would be the British need to limit their casualties as they needed to remain a viable force if they were in the last instance to throw themselves into Khartoum. Likewise they would have to protect their wounded as they accumulated during the campaign. It might be fun to include Fred Burnaby as a special character.

What would you do?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Heckenfeur #2

The Sudan

*Note that this article is a placeholder until I organise my thoughts some more!*

I am as ever amazed at the resources that generous people make freely available on the web.

Here below is much of the excellent magazine "Savage and Soldier" free online:

Here Steve Winter (The Colonial Angle) presents his "Fire and the Sword in the Sudan, a campaign based on the Mahadist rising. The rules are an adaptation of those presented in "the Courier" 'many moons ago' for playing Pondiac's rebellion. The material he presents on his website include a thrilling acount of his re-fight of a siege of Berber. Wonderful stuff.

I'm not too sure how far people might be interested in the creative process, but I thought it might be worthwhile uploading a few cartoons of some Nile steamers that everyone ought to have in their collection if they are to embark upon campaigns on those blood red desert sands.

As I have outlined in my Defense of Melbourne Blog, my ship-building methods are pretty simple.

I make a blank for the hull out of expanded polystyrene with a lamination of balsa. The balsa when scribed and stained becomes the main deck whilst the poly is the hull, usually cut to the profile of the deck with my hot wire cutter. A sanding block takes care of any complex curves at the bow or stern. The bularks are of thin card, whilst the deck-houses are of daler board - available in art supply shops.

I continue to read and paint and imagineer.