Monday 30 April 2012

The Muckleburgh Military Collection - Part 2 - The Model Hall

One little gallery I didn't go into in my previous post on the muckleburg collection is the new model gallery ucked away at the end of the armoured cars hall (one of my party actually missed it and wondered where we'd all gone).  It's a 'U' shape and one side of the U has all naval models (military on one side civillian on the other) there was no metion of the scale, but based on some of the ships I had knowlege of they all appeared to be in the same scale.  Theres a few pics below, but that really doesn't due it justice, the models go from HMS warrior (1860) upto some modern ships.

The second side of the 'U' has land warfare models, this time in various scales and whilst it's predominatly WW2 it ranges all the way from the Romans to the Falklands war.  The quality is simply fantastic and I came out with a definate feeling that my own collection was a bit inadequate.

Friday 27 April 2012

The Muckleburgh Military Collection - Part 1

The next major stop on my norfolk trip was the Muckleburgh collection, this is the UK's largest private collection of military equiment on the site of the WW2 base weybourne camp.

The first room you enter has a diorama with a load of models in the middle and round the side tells the history of weybourne camp, through the war and into the national service era.  Next is a room on the history of the norfolk and suffolk yeomanry, with lots of uniforms, pictures and artifacts.  Theres one more room with lots of models and weapons and other bits and bobs before you then go into the bigger halls which contain artillery pieces, tanks, armoured cars and military transport vehicles.  Theres a lot here, I've put a few pics below, but theres a full list on the collections website.

It feels different to a national museum, there is little attempt to tell a story in a cohesive way, and its very cramped, obviously trying to get as much out on show as possible (not that I blame them for that).

There are a few exhibits outside as well, a harrier, a V1 rocket and a couple of others.

Adult entry was £8 and it took around 3 hours looking at stuff, although I dare say a proper treadhead could spend even longer.

In part two I'll take a look at one small, but fascinating gallery, the model hall.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Jason, Herakles and some Argonauts

Don't worry I've not forgotten that this is supposed to be a hobby blog and today we have my latest mythical Greeks from wargames foundry.  All of which feature in the tale of the argo.  I've bought 3 of the 4 packs of argonauts that foundry do, plus a pack called 'mythical characters' that also features some more argonauts plus perseus that I wanted (although he's not done yet).  I was planning on spreading out the main characters, but in the end I gave in and did jason and herakles first.

Argus, Jason and Polydeuces

Heracles and Hylas

Atalanta and Hypsipyle

Four of the more 'ordinary' argonauts

Sunday 22 April 2012

Castle Acre Castle & Priory

The next stop on my Norfolk odyssesy was the village of castle acre in west Norfolk which contains the ruins of both castle acre castle and priory.  Both were founded soon after the Norman conquest by William De Warenne.

We stopped at the castle first, and were immdeatley struck by the Impressive earthworks that reamain, this was clearly once a pretty major stronghold.  Apart from the earthworks and the skirting wall, the other significant reamians are those of the gatehouse and the lower part pf the keep.  Again impressive, the sheer thickness of the walls got me, and from the picture on the info board the keep was once really rather tall.

About a mile down the road on the other side of the village are the reamains of castle acre priory, again very very impressive, its the first priory or abbey of this size I've ever visited (whilst I enjoy going to castle this did make a refreshing change), and even though I'm not a religious man as I walked around part of me did feel regret at the dissolution of monestaries and the glorious buildings we've lost.  Differnet parts of the ruins date from the 12th to 15th centuries, and being a prior was clearly a good thing with basically his own little palace (which is still mainly intact as it was used as a house after the priory was closed) whereas the rest of the monks all lived in one (apprently cold) dormitary.

There is a little museum which contains finds from both the sites of the castle and the priory and there are the ever informative english hertiage audio guides to use.

Both sites are in the care of English Heritage, the castle is openly accessable and free, the priory charged £5.80 for an adult.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Lego Games - Frog Rush

Another impulse purchase today, and another lego game added to my collection, this cost me the tiny sum of £3 (normal retail price is around the £10 mark).  After I was pleasently surprised with magma monster I thought I'd give it a go.

The contents are pretty much what you would expect, you get a big green flat bit of lego that's the board, two bags of lego pieces, one of the changable lego dice and two booklets, one which contains the assembly instructions and the other contains the rules.  The english rules only take up 3 pages and are very simple, theres then a bit about modifying the game with some optional rules.  No complaints here, a good quality set.

Gameplay is pretty simple, players take it in turns to roll the big lego dice and then either move one of your frogs a certain number of squares, jump a frog over as many frogs as you can or use the stork.  Using the stork is fun as it allows you eat one of your opponents frogs, jumping is also fun and you can sometimes get all the way across the board.  The aim is to get your frogs to the bench opposite, the person with the most frogs wins.  There is some tactics but its pretty basic, blocking opponents frogs and choosing who's frog to eat is about it.

This is a fun enough little game, it doesn't have a huge depth, but I'm not sure that really matters, this is for when you need a quick little game that won't scare anyone with elves or goblins. 

Monday 16 April 2012

Baconsthorpe Castle

I've actually been away in Norfolk for the last week although the schedule function has allowed me to keep the regular service going.  What this really means for this blog is that I'm going to be banging on for at least the next week about all the cool places I visited.

The first stop of the trip was Baconsthorpe castle.  Although its not really a castle at all but a fortified manor house that never had a proper keep.  The castle was and still is moated and there are the remains of the outer wall, a work building and both the outer and inner gatehouses.  The castle is 15th century, and the outer gatehouse a bit later (the style is noticeably different).  The house was occupied by the builders, the Heydon family, from roughly the wars of the roses to the civil war.

The castle is in the care of English Heritage and is freely accessable to the public during the hours of daylight.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Foundry Legendary Trojan Heroes

Another pack from foundry's tribes of legend Greek mythology range today, this time the Trojan leaders from the Trojan war.  We get Priam and his two sons Hector and Paris, plus a couple of guards.  Whilst nice models I feel the guards would have been better done as a seperate pack and another couple of Trojan heroes added to this one, Aeneas for certain and possibly Polydamas or Glaucus.  Still I'm pleased with the result.

King Priam



Royal Guards

Thursday 12 April 2012

Army Focus - Warhammer 40,000 Space Marines: The Vengence Templars

The Army

Like many people my first ever wargames army was a space marine army.  It all started just as the warhammer 40k second edition boxed set came out (shockingly around 20 years ago!) which I bought and started collecting the blood angels, using the two squads in the box as a start.  That army is long gone, with only a couple of character models remaining in my collection.  This however is my latest and current space marine army, a codex chapter of my own creation the 'Vengence Templars'.  This all came about because of the 3rd ed of Space Hulk which made me want to paint space marines again (oh how I wish I'd bought 2 copies now so I could have added the terminators to this army).

The army is quite substanal at around 4000 points and based around the 2nd battle company, with 5 tactical squads, a devstastor squad and an assualt squad.  With support provided from the 1st and 10th companies. 

The paint scheme is a bone coloured armour with blue trim.  Originally I went with bone to get practice painting that colour, it hasn't worked brilliantly, but it's too late to change it now and I'm going to have to live with it!  The chapter symbol is a simple V in black, sort of like the Ultramarines U, if I'm being honest this was mainly because it's easy to paint.

I've named every squad and character in the army, and have designed a squad marking system as shown above.  It's bascially just the squad type symbol and a simple number, so the guy in the middle is from the 5th 'tactical' squad, and on the right we have a member of the 9th tactical squad.

2nd Company command squad

Game wise they've mainly faced off against my friends Tyranids (which he started at the same time as this army, also inspried by space hulk) and we have a loose narrative campaign going featuring a invasion of the Vengence Templars homeworld.  They've recently started to take on the eldar as well as my eldar project progresses.  They've performed very well and won almost all of their games.  The tactical squads and terminators (both varieties) have been the stars.

This is my sterngaurd veteran squad (above), a simple kit bash conversion of using the 'beaky' helmets and studded shoulder pads along with a different paint scheme to mark them out.  I do like the proper sternguard models, but have gone this way due to price.

The core of the army are the tactical squads, and I never go into battle with at least two, preferably 3 full 10 man squads.  As a rule I favour the missle launcher/flamer load out, but I do have the option of feilding a bit of melta as well.
The officers of the second company

This army is nowhere near finished, my immediate plan is to add the three squads needed to take it up to a full battle company.  I also want more rhinos and razorbacks and then want to add something big to turn it into an apocalypse army.  Thats undecicded at the moment, but I'm thinking a brace of super heavy tanks.  I also want to make a chapter master, but need to think carefully as I'd like him to be something a little special.  A long way to go all round.

A few pieces from the chapter armoury
My objective pieces
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