UK Trip Highlights (Part One)

Flew from Winnipeg > Brussels > Manchester (left Winnipeg on Saturday, arrived Manchester Sunday morning)… Not the most direct flight, but the shortest amount of travel time, with less time hanging around in airports.

Sue had left the day before, for Ponta Delgada. She’s spending the first week in Portugal with a friend, and we’re meeting up next week in Wales…

Flying out of Brussels

The first couple of days were pretty relaxed – few small walks/drives in the area, etc. (with the required stop at a pub for a cheeky pint).

Warhammer World (Nottingham)

Wednesday morning my Dad and I set off for Nottingham…

Obligatory picture with the Rhino at WHW.
…and my Dad.

I didn’t take pictures of all WHW displays, but just those that were things that caught my eye (or of figs I own but haven’t painted yet).

Warhammer/AoS/Blood Bowl
Warhammer 40,000
“Hunt for the Assassin” and Bugmans Bar

We didn’t find him.

Then we had a quick drink at Bugman’s.

As you do, we exited through the gift shop. I picked up the photo book of the dioramas, a couple of WHW exclusive BB figures, a t-shirt and some other goodies, and the Lietpold the Black figure from Forgeworld I’ve been wanting for a while (as a general for my DoW WHFB/Kings of War army). My Dad bought a book of AoS fiction (he likes fantasy novels, so he thought he’d give it a whirl).

Wargames Foundry (East Stoke)

Foundry is outside a village, in a fairly rural area. Last time I was there they were located in urban Nottingham.

I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but long enough to pick out a few packs of figs from my shopping list (Swashbucklers, ostensibly for Ghost Archipelago, and Brit WWII Paras), have a quick chat with the man himself, Bryan Ansell, and take a few pictures of some of the more well-known figs in the collection displayed there (especially the old school Genestealer Cult limos [!]).

We then set off for Bromley/Chislehurst in Kent. We stayed overnight at an excellent pub/hotel, the Bull’s Head. Had a great Italian meal at Due Amici. I had a few bowls of loudmouth soup, and we stayed up talking politics.

…and then the next day, the real highlight so far and a serious bucket list item for me:

HOME OF CHARLES DARWIN – DOWN HOUSE

The sense of history and the weight of the importance of this place were overwhelming. It’s amazing to walk the same hallways and rooms as the Darwin family.

The house is set up as a combination of informative displays (including original journals and notebooks) and preserved/restored rooms (such as Darwin’s study, games room, and dining room). The staff were informed, friendly, and obviously had a keen interest and involvement in the subject. My Dad was very impressed with the facilities as well…

I spent some time in the house, and then went outside to wander the grounds. The gardens and greenhouses were restored, and included the experimental gardens and items of interest.

But, the absolute highlight was the Sandwalk*…

Perfectly, I was alone as I retraced Darwin’s steps around the path.

I was crushed by the emotional weight of being in such an important place and got quite teary-eyed, if I’m being honest. Greatly meaningful to be there, personally. Appreciate my Dad making it happen.

Today was pretty relaxing – I had my first night of uninterrupted sleep (always an issue when traveling), and we went for a nice walk in a nearby woodland area. Heading out to the local pub later and then back for dinner. I’m taking the train down to Cardiff tomorrow, to spend some time with my brother and sister, and also to meet up with Sue. I’ve been missing her, of course, so I’m looking forward to that (not to mention getting down on the floor to play Lego [literally or figuratively] with all the nieces and nephews).


*from Wikipedia:

“In 1846, Darwin rented from Sir John William Lubbock a narrow strip of land of 1.5 acres (0.61 ha) adjoining the Down House grounds to the southwest, and had it planted. He named it the Sandwalk Wood. One side was shaded by an old shaw with oak trees, and the other looked over a hedge to a charming valley. Darwin had a variety of trees planted, and ordered a gravel path known as the ‘sandwalk’ to be created around the perimeter. Darwin’s daily walk of several circuits of this path served both for exercise and for uninterrupted thinking. He set up a number of small stones at one point on the walk so that he could kick a stone to the side each time he passed, so that he did not have to interrupt his thoughts by consciously counting the number of circuits he had made that day.”

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UK Trip Highlights (Part One)

This seems familiar

Not really New Year’s resolutions but rather a short-term plan of action. Might happen if I write it down, you know?

  • Finish up the Grey Knights kill team for the upcoming SW:A weekend game in February
  • One or more of the Shadespire warbands I got for xmas
  • Warhammer 40K – probably a small Primaris marine army
  • Units from the Dogs of War GW fantasy figs that I’ve collected over the last few years*
  • WWII British paratrooper reinforced platoon (there is progress, but it keeps getting back-burnered)*

Stuff marked with a “*” is from last year’s list, so take this where it comes from.

This seems familiar

Next!

Decisions, decisions… What to work on next?

Now that I have the Frostgrave warband done, time to tie up some loose ends on projects already started and planned:

  • WWII British Paratroops (a platoon plus support – started, but a way to go yet [including the <shudder> camo smocks])
  • Few odds and ends for Blood Bowl
  • Mordheim Sisters of Sigmar (about 80% done – just need to do the metallics and basing)
  • Fill-in figs for a Necromunda group (3-4 figs to round out an Cawdor group that I inherited from Tim B.)

On top of that, I did start putting together a funky little warband for Songs of Blades and Heroes using mostly OOP/LE Games Workshop Warriors of Chaos personalities, when it looked like that was what Tim was going to run for his weekend tourney:

IMG_3601

There are some real chestnuts in that group (not all pictured). I have all the LE Games Day WoC figs, including the sorcerer, plus Harry the Hammer (thanks, Dave!) and a few other specials.

And… that new GW Deathwatch/Genestealer Cult Overkill box should be arriving on my doorstep later today.

Oh, and the Conan kickstarter could be here anytime.

Next!

Prizes from a far and foreign land

Actually, just a couple of hours over the border…

Found a few goodies at the games shop in Grand Forks today: GF9 prepainted ruins. Perfect to be the foundation of a Frostgrave table.

IMG_3504

I also picked up some tackle box trays (for figure/game piece storage) and a few more Matchbox Jeeps for WWII conversion.

Oh, and some habanero flavoured chips. 🙂

Prizes from a far and foreign land

Ronin game, terrain, UNIT vehicle, and temptation fulfilled

Not a lot of figure painting going on lately (surprise, surprise!), but I have been working on a few hobby related bits and pieces…

Dave G., Kevin H., and I had a small Ronin game to learn (or in my case, relearn) the rules. It was useful, and I’m looking forward to playing a larger scale version for realz, now that we have a better idea of the mechanic. I think Dave and Kev enjoyed it, too, and hopefully there’ll be a bit of a samurai buzz.

Started painting the sci-fi/modern layout I put together last year. This will eventually form part of a Judge Dredd “Block”, but is designed to work with any sci-fi/modern game.

IMG_3235 IMG_3240

 

Picked up a 1/50 scale die-cast Land Rover Defender on eBay from a guy in Portugal. It was specced out for a fire department (bright red, blue lights on the roof, etc.), but I’m converting it to use as a UNIT vehicle for an eventual Dr. Who themed game.

IMG_3241

 

…and the fulfilled temptation:

Dave G. spotted a really bargain priced WHFB Empire army on Kijiji locally and picked it up. Then he beat me up and made me buy it from him.  🙂

IMG_3242

 

 

Ronin game, terrain, UNIT vehicle, and temptation fulfilled

What is best in life?

King Conan

I haven’t backed many Kickstarter based miniatures efforts, but just jumped in on the Monolith Games Conan miniatures boardgame. I haven’t been this hyped about all things Conan in years.

My Cthulhu Wars core box turned up last week, with the ton of add-ons and bonuses due later on in 2015 (at least a couple of hundred figures).

Dave G. and I went in on a pledge for Judge Dredd Block Wars miniatures way back in 2012. We’ve received most of the stuff (lots of figures!) in dribs and drabs since, but there are still a few items outstanding. Good job I’m not rushing through my lead mountain and desperate for things to paint!  🙂

What is best in life?