Sunday, 6 January 2019

A belated Happy New Year

Well, that was an interesting year. Didn't quite go according to plan, but hey - what can you do? :D

For those following on Twitter, I still have the tail end of a cold, so I'm holding off on the next episode of The Miller's Tale until I can do so without having to spend an extra hour editing out coughs. That said - every cloud has a silver lining, and while I miss helping to co-present Meeples, it does mean I've produced more episodes in the past 6 months than in the previous... um... yeah. 5 years?

At this time last year, I was hoping to get to spend a few months putting in some full time work on varios wargaming projects - funny how this never quite works out, isn't it? On the plus side, I do now have an office in the converted workshop (which took FAR longer than planned), as well as a wargames retailer (PE2 Collectables. soon to be rebranded as Wargames Direct) at the bottom of my garden. I've been surprisingly good at staying out of temptation's way. even so - PE2C are mostly (very) useful for those "erm, Reuben, I've run out of Army Painter spray black..." moments.

Plans for this year... well, apart from Really Really Finishing the Dux Compendium? I'm currently doing the Twitter #hobbystreak tag, which given the number of hobby-related irons in the fire should mean I find something to do each day: having a workbench as part of my office does make it easier to get odd bits done in lunch breaks or at the end of the day. Apart from the blog, which has been sadly neglected since last January, I have a Cruel Seas fleet to assemble, some Peninsular Napoleonics to either paint or cause to be painted, and a bunch of Skytrex WW2 ships to paint. Once the Dux Compendium is done, I have the figures and background work for another project, of which more later.

So - Happy New Year, and I'll hopefully catch you online in short or long written form, or audio, or at a show!

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas

Just got back in from midnight mass.

Which I guess means all I have left to do before I turn in (having had the first slice of the Christmas cake with a slice of Wensleydale, and a decent scotch (Ardbeg 10yo)), is to wish all my readers (and I guess listeners) a very happy and peaceful Christmas in whatever way you choose to celebrate it.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Allan Downes

I know I'm a little behind the times, but I note with sadness the passing of model-maker extra-ordinaire, Allan Downes, in August.

For both my dad and I, he was one of the main reasons to race to grab the copy of Railway Modeller when it turned up in the mid/late 70s. His scenery making talents were flat out unbelievable.

If you want a long read, here's a thread of him and almost equally gifted modeller Iain Robinson having a good-humoured 'model off' in RMWeb, that lasts right up to his passing, and is littered with utterly drool-worthy photos of their handiwork. Be warned, you will spend a fair amount of time going "is that actually a model???"

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The Miller's Tale - Episode 5

Episode 5: In which Mike talks about (among other things)... boats and trains? 

Trust me. There's method in the madness.

Before anyone comments - yes, this is just over the hour, which came as quite a shock when I came to do the assemble edit. This is pretty much the upper limit on length I'm prepared to go - any longer and you'll get more and shorter podcasts!

Sunday, 11 November 2018


They went with songs to the battle, 
They were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, 
Steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end 
Against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

Echoing afresh a thought from a few years ago - for all we are a hobby that seeks to recreate war, I remain profoundly glad and impressed that in general we do so to understand it, not pointlessly glorify it.
St John the Evangelist Church in Slimbridge, 2018

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The Miller's Tale - Episode 4

Episode 4: In which Mike reviews Too Fat Lardies' "I Ain't Been Shot Mum"...

No, I know I'm not the first. See, the plan is, to review things not when they're brand new, but when I've had time to beat them into submission and figure out what I really like and don't...

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Miller's Tale - Episode 3

Episode 3: In which Mike gets caught out by summer holidays and Real Life.

Please note: the majority of this podcast was recorded in early August, hence some of the remarks and news items are a little out of date - they are, I hope, still as valid as when they were made.
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