30 Jul 2014

Back home again

Hello guys,

I came back from my trip to Geordieland yesterday. I had a great time with Zabadak Joe and Zomfan Bryan up north. The three of us even managed to play a couple of ATZ games for Joe's campaign. He will be posting the reports, so all I am going to say is I really enjoyed it and could clearly see why ATZ rules are as popular as they are.

I am a huge fan of Joe terrain. Each of the models is a tiny masterpiece in itself and full of all the tiny details I would never think of. Below is just a quick shot at Alldie store. The name still cracks me up.
 Joe made sure to keep me occupied and took me (and Bryan when he felt like it!) to all the cool places. Below is a Tynemouth castle sitting on a cliff above the beach. As an interesting fact, this castle had (has?) huge 9.2 inch guns emplacements  to protect the area from an attack during WW2.
 We went up north to as far as Bamburgh (medieval Northumbrian capital) and even spotted a WW2 pillbox on the sand dunes. It looks dead boring on a photo below, but it had to be seen from up close!
 After Joe and I climbed there, I spotted a dug machine gun bunker just below the open one you can see above. I crawled in to take some photos and a confined space can clearly be seen. What can't be seen is all sorts of vegetation that got stuck on my pants and shirt while I was climbing back out again!
 A pair of shots of Bamburgh castle down below. It is huge.
 

One of the other things worth mentioning is the infamous (at least from the Geordie perspective) Sunderland. I was there for perhaps a couple of hours all together. On a photo below is a Wear bridge. It looks just like Newcastle's Tyne bridge. Except smaller. And southern!
I have to be careful with my words now, but from what I saw Sunderland is a lot like Newcastle.
 To be perfectly honest, Sunderland at the time I was there had something Newcastle did not. An airshow. While waiting for my train, I managed to see a part of the Red Arrows show! Not an huge airplane fan myself, but they were quite spectacular.

All together, I only spent a day in London on my way home. I decided to spend my time visiting newly reopened Imperial War museum. They had a fantastic WW1 exhibition and a lot of new stuff that weren't on display when I was there in 2012. Unfortunately, many vehicles were missing, including the Matilda 2 tank. Among the harrier, V2 missile, Spitifre and the likes, there was this Reutres landi that really popped out from the crowd. It was used by a news crew that was hit by an Israeli rocket in Gaza. Both journalist survived the hit, but were badly injured. One of them died just few weeks later when his vehicle was hit by a tank he was filming.

As far as the hobby front goes, I managed to bring home a decent loot to further progress with my moderns project. Moderns seems to be my thing in 2014 and I can proudly say my motivation is still running high.

Starting with a cherry here, but below is a quick shot of Empress modern US infantry. There are 4 fire teams on the photo. I got another fire team worth already, plus an MG team, EOD team and a pair of downed pilots I was talking about in previous posts.

In other words, this gives me a small platoon HQ and two sections (9 members) with 2 teams each. An up to date Slovenian platoon would have three sections and three FN MAG teams (I got one of those), plus a team of snipers. Given I would never really need to play with a whole platoon, I think I got the basic troops covered now.

Rifles have been posted to Rovanite of Grekwood miniatures, so conversions of those troops will have to wait. I have my FN minimi SAWs, however, so I will start with converting the support gunners first. Empress US miniatures are armed with M249s, which is basically the same weapon, but with different stock and a barrel overheating guard.
You can see on the photo below that they are quite compatible size wise. I prefer mine (based on Ebob's work, so not REALLY mine) as far as the size goes, as they are a bit narrower. I am not at all satisfied with my stocks, however, so there is a chance I will be rebuilding it for most of the miniatures I will be converting.

Waiting for the rifles doesn't mean I have nothing to do, however, as I would want to finish converting my civilians I started working on a while ago. I really like the feel they bring to the games and as my moderns will be a low intensity conflict, I would want to have them around my board to give my games some depth so to say.

I also brought home some books. From those shown, two are on modern subject and should be a valuable source of scenarios ideas. One was bought at Poundland (Task force Helmand,  a fantastic book judging by a prelude chapter) and the other one, Bomb hunters at a Tynemouth market. I got them for a standard value of 1 GBP. I might mention the one from Poundland was originally printed in 2009 and has a price tag of 17 or 18 quid, so it REALLY is cheap.
The third book is on WW1 and it's not really wargaming related (for now!)

While Joe and I were at the Tynemouth market, we also spotted some military vehicles. Starting at one, I later bought 4 Unimog trucks and a Deagostini GAZ jeep. I did some research and VAI written on its sides apparently means military police. It is held together by a tape because it started falling apart while I was looking at it :D. I am especially happy with the four Unimogs as they are a great way to build up a military convoy.

As soon as the weather here gets better, I will undercoat them all and go for a repaint. I am not sure about keeping the lights on the Unimogs. Painted orange, they would have their use.


This is it for today and I will hopefully have something done by the end of the week!

Thanks for looking,
Mathyoo

21 comments:

  1. Very nice trip it seems! A shame they don't restore those bunkers as a tourist spot, keeping history like that alive will be missed one day.

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    1. There are many more pillpoxes etc. in hte area that have been surveyed and are in a much better condition:
      http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDAQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.northumberland.gov.uk%2Fidoc.ashx%3Fdocid%3D6e4d4b69-43c7-449f-92e4-9aacf5385e21%26version%3D-1&ei=QAnZU9aOEMaO7AbE2oGIBA&usg=AFQjCNGm1U7SArW1zjn81tU0bXnTPCM3BA&sig2=0PT5hFpUpdzfya2OYOKGeg&bvm=bv.71778758,d.ZGU

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    2. Thanks Styx!
      That is quite a problem with all the European fortifications, yes. There is just so many of them that restoring all of them makes no sense, but destroying them seems just wrong to me :D

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  2. Thanks for the mention and kind words; thoroughly enjoyed the time with you here in the wind-swept cold North - hope your sun-burn is now better !

    You did get a great swath of loot too !

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  3. I'm glad to hear you made it home safely. It was wonderful meeting up with you and Joe. I'm not going to get drawn into an argument over the merits of Newcastle and Sunderland. Let's just say they have their good points and leave it at that.

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    1. Thanks Bryan and right back at you. I agree, it will just take me a while to rub off all the brainwash I got while staying on the "right" side of the river :D

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  4. Glad you made it home safe and sound. Also glad you had a good time. Slight chuckle to myself about getting Sunburnt in Newcastle! (You being closer to the Med. When at Home)

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    1. Thanks! And in my defence, while it wasn't scorching hot (that's what everyone around me was saying), I suppose spending a day walking along the beach with no hat does you no good :D

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  5. Sounds like you had a great time and got to visit some brilliant places. Impressive loot haul those jeeps are good I have 3 myself :D

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    1. They are useful, aren't they? 3 sounds good enough - I think I'd struggle to put more than a couple on my 2x3 table :D

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  6. Glad you had a good trip and got back safe mate.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    1. Thanks mate. Was nice meeting you!

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  7. Sounds like you had a great time up north. What a great pile of loot too.And you got to play on Joe's wicked table.

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    1. I sure did. And I might have looked all over the place for all the stuff he had laying around, as well! :D

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  8. Sounds like a fantastic trip and a great time gaming, good haul too!

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    1. Cheers Ad, time to make something of it and finally play a game or two again now :)

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  9. Castles, beaches, games *and* new toys. Sounds like an excellent trip!

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  10. Brilliant! Sounds like a good trip all in all! AND most importantly the games with Joe and Bryan!

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    1. Ha, the games were great. Wouldn't want to spoil anything, but not much happened for hours and it was still fantastic :D

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