A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Big Brown Lumps - The Star-Fort (1)

Yesterday I finished off the first phase of building-varnishing and got the bits of the Battleground star-fort deflashed and scrubbed up, and applied the first two coats of brown base colour. The picture shows the situation after the second coat - some pinholes still be be touched in, but this is much better than the state after the first coat, which looked like a join-the-dots exercise (the paint being the dots, by the way).

A long way to go, but it is shaping up nicely. The idea is that it should be capable of being an outwork for a Napoleonic fort (e.g Fort Ragusa), or a half-section could be a hornwork of some sort, but also it can serve as a sconce for the ECW (it may not be strictly authentic for this last role, but I'm happy with it, so please do not look askance at my sconce...).

So the plan is: final brown base-coat touch-in to lose the pinholes, then drybrushing with mid grey, baseboard green, medium khaki and a very light breath of light khaki to make everything dusty - followed, of course, by two coats of matt varnish - this is a heavy beggar, and is going to get bumped a bit. After all that I can tidy away all the debris and paraphernalia and get the dining room ready for the Battle of Boldon Hill on Wednesday. Oh yes - my fort pieces are now in very nice new plastic storage boxes, so a load of old broken cardboard boxes can go away for recycling. There's another planet saved.

Speaking of which...

Last night we had an excellent take-away Indian meal from our friend Mohammed's restaurant in the village, and, unusually for us, afterwards we got the log stove blazing, and managed to prise my son away from his computer for long enough for us all to watch his new DVD of The Martian.

Matt Damon visits - erm - Jordan, in fact
Wow - what an excellent film - enjoyed it thoroughly. If it has a faint weakness of plot, I might suggest that the second half of the story is relentlessly and obviously heading for a happy ending, but the spectacle is more than consolation, and the scientific threads hang together well enough to gratify elderly viewers who cherish delusions of understanding these things (a very little bit). I am not a film "buff" in any sense at all, but I understand that it is now necessary always to attach references to previous work by the cast and crew, so I shall list a few personal fave contributors, with a very partial wargamer's view of what they have done before (i.e. what I've seen and enjoyed). Director is Ridley Scott (The Duellists - has to be), and the cast includes Matt Damon (Saving Private Ryan), Jeff Daniels (Gettysburg) and Sean Bean (anything but Sharpe).

I was pleased to be reminded that Bean, is, after all, an excellent actor when he isn't slouching around being rugged.

By the way, I speak with some little authority on the film industry since, apart from being not quite related to Christopher Plummer (previous reference to private joke), I also used to have a relative who claimed to have appeared as a bush in the Dunsinane scene from Polanski's Macbeth, so I'm quite an insider really - please notify Hello! magazine that I am up for the odd interview if the money's right.


  1. My wife and I are regular cinema goers and we both thoroughly enjoyed The Martian.

    1. I don't get to the cinema very often these days (too far away, and the nursing staff don't like it...), but big, modern TVs make DVDs a great substitute these days - we recently invested in a BluRay player for the sitting room, and I use a Bose Wave System machine for the sound enhancement - good. I miss the girls selling ice cream, to be honest, but it's easier to get a brandy.

    2. We have a home theater too but it does not quite duplicate the experience of the cinema. Pausing the movie to fetch a snack when at home does have advantages.

    3. Agreed - I find the cinema management don't react well to requests for pausing the film for a comfort break.

      Our setup at home is well short of home theatre standards, I guess, but it works pretty well.

  2. Mars, pshaw! He should try living in NZ

    1. Yes indeed - I heard on the news that NZ has been jumping around again - hope things going OK with you - I have a friend who has just gone to NZ for a month with his wife - they have been saving up and organising it for ages - knowing his luck, he will be touring all the disaster areas.


To avoid spam and advertising material, comments are moderated on this blog, and will appear once I have seen them.