Sunday, 31 January 2016

Migration to Facebook?

I only "do" Facebook in a limited way, occasionally posting check-ins from decent restaurants, or good theatre visits or whatever (the awful restaurants and naff theatre visits I keep to myself!!).
But, although I have a number of wargaming friends on Facebook, I don't do "wargaming stuff" on Facebook (I have my own reasons).

And yet, it seems to me that to a large extent, the online wargaming community has migrated to facebook significantly of late, and that blogs, forums and so on are receiving less attention than previously.
I notice that the number of hits on this blog, for example, has gone up markedly, but the number of comments has reduced (I'm not complaining one iota, and I'm always delighted that anyone comments at all!).
And I notice this trend everywhere.
The thing is, it's easier to press the FB "like" button than it is to express any approval through a comment on a blog.
It's easier to just post a picture on FB than it is to post a blog update, where the unspoken convention is that some amount of text seems more appropriate than just a picture.

Is this the way things will continue to move?
Probably, as manufacturers and retailers of all things wargaming make FB updates to promote upcoming ranges, W-I-P/ workbench photos, and teasers and trailers; and convention organisers update lists of traders, games and other information on upcoming shows.

It's an interesting development.
What is noticeable is that fewer engaged readers means that the incentive for bloggers to post blog updates is reduced, and so on... It's only natural. And it's a vicious (circle)/ catch 22.

And here's a further consequence...
as the level of FB engagement rises, and perhaps the level of Blog and Forum engagement/ activity decreases, will there be a longing for more text content elsewhere... for example, a return to the popularity of monthly magazines for articles and actual reading material (as opposed to looking material).
Just a thought.

I considered this trend long and hard after my previous post which had the lowest number of comments (and lost 4 followers) in the first 48 hours! Perhaps the Gatling gun had shot them! Perhaps these are the most unpopular figures in my collection? Who knows...

Will the blogosphere continue a downward trend until it starts to resemble a bit of a ghost town?

... and that's an excuse for me to post a couple of pictures of the latest developments in my Colonial project. Scratch-built basic adobe buildings. The first of a few...


Time will tell. Whatever happens, I will continue to post here (and not FB) ... whether anyone's looking or not! Well, for a while, anyway.

Meantime, preparations for York are ongoing...
A sample of dialogue from the lounge the other evening:
Me, idly doodling on my York Purchase List, "I'm looking forward to York. I've got a few figures to buy."
Her, with no hint of irony, and only a mild passing interest, "Oh. I thought you would finish painting the ones you've got before buying anymore."

Laughed? I nearly... (add your own phrase of choice here).
She's clearly got a lot to learn.

But then so have I, as my attempt at explanation led to the next 2 hours conversation about her wardrobe and shoes collection! The fact that this backfired somewhat just goes to show exactly how much I still have to learn!!

For those who are going, see you at York!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Naval Brigade Gatling Gun

The answer to The Ansar...?

Just time to pop in and post a few pics of the latest addition to the Colonial project...


There are some British infantry on the painting stocks too, but I just fancied finishing these for a "quick win"! 
More anon...

Sunday, 17 January 2016

The First Ansar

The Perry box of plastic Ansar has yielded the following two units for TSATF (The Sword and the Flame).
These are the first figures for my new Colonial project, and I'm working on the principle that I'll need quite a few of these chaps, so knocking them out at a speedy rate.

(Flags hand-painted).

I think there's a tendency (or is it just me?) to think that, because it's a skirmish project, the standard of painting has to creep up on the grounds that fewer figures are required. But I'm determined not to fall into that trap, particularly with the natives/ tribesmen (as you can clearly see from the photos shown - quick snaps as I finished up at the workbench today). The aim is to get a couple of small representative forces onto the tabletop as early as possible.
British are next...

Monday, 11 January 2016

More Austrians!

Have just completed Salm-Salm regiment.
Not my "best brush" by any stretch of the imagination, but averaging 23 minutes per figure using my production-line method is getting me through these units!

Simple Method:
Undercoat (spray white), then block in main colours, then dip, then anti-shine varnish whole unit. Then, in batches of 6 figures, add top highlights. And it's as simple as that.

I've been keeping track of time spent on these Austrians and this method seems to score well. Not only that, but the method is making the painting practically effortless.
From 3 feet away they look ok, and en-masse they will look fine once based. Most importantly I'm happy with them - minimum effort for maximum output.
Next up, for this army, Hungarians and then Grenadiers.
Tipsi Pipsi is enjoying seeing the ranks of her Astrovian army growing!!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Strategy for 2016

Now, it's time to look forward to the year ahead...
I like to make my plans specific and succinct.

"Man with no target, hit nothing" - Old Chinese Proverb.

So here goes:

1. The 18th Century Pils-Holstein collection.
At the moment, I'm right on track with this. So for 2016, I want to get the armies to the next stage:
  • Pils-Holstein and Prussians - 10 Battalions of infantry. Therefore need to have a further 4 battalions completed in 2016.
  • French - 8 Battalions of infantry. Need just 1 more in 2016.
  • Astrovians - 5 Battalions of infantry. Need to finish basing the 2 I've painted, and add a further 3, all of which are in progress.
In addition, I will add more cavalry to all sides, a Grenzer unit to the Astrovians, and a field battery to each side.

2. Colonials
I'll create enough units to have some games. This is a more vague approach, as it's really just a "side-project".
Ideal for 2016 would be:
  • Sudan - a company of Brits and a tribe of Dervish (mixed Hadendowah and others).
  • NWF - a platoon of Brits and a clan of Pathans, plus some additional bits n bobs.

The fun of this project is that it is rather unbridled, and I don't feel the need to constrain with too much of a strict schedule, although having enough basic units to game with is priority.

3. Games
Really must do better this year.
Watch this space...

4. Shows
  • February - Vapnartak, York. Hotel and trains are booked for a weekend in York with Dianne. On the Friday and Saturday we'll do York touristy stuff (I love the place). On the Sunday, the show is in the diary for me, while she gets to do more shopping/ relaxing at a spa or something! Looking forward to it.
  • April - Salute, London. Yes! This will be my first ever Salute (bet that comes as a shock to many!) I've never been able to fit it into my schedule in the past, but I'm due to be in London that weekend anyway this year, so...
  • May - Partizan I, Newark. Looking forward to the new venue.
  • September - Partizan II.  ditto.
  • A.N.Other show sometime in autumn. Warfare/ Crisis/ something like that.
I may do a Display Game at one of the Partizans.

5. The Blog
I'm not one to let the hobby be driven by the need to report everything on the blog, so I don't always post stuff as it happens. However, I will do more frequent posts this year. And I have a plan to add a different aspect to the blog ...

6. The Ghabazaar Gazette?
I'm mindful that I should not "contaminate" this blog (which is primarily devoted to the 18th century Pils-Holstein project) with a load of stuff on the development of my Colonial "side project" (Victorian sideshow?!).
BUT, I still want to share progress with those who are interested.
So, I may create "The Ghabazaar Gazette" as an irregular, infrequent, as-and-when, downloadable PDF, and include game reports, project progress, and other Colonial snippets from Sudan, NW Frontier, and other goings on in Victorian England. That way, that stuff stays "off blog"... I'll simply announce the latest issue as I complete it.

That looks like a decent approach to the year.
Of course, all things are subject to change, the value of investments can go up as well as down, and your home may be at risk if you do not keep up yadda yadda... and any number of other caveats.
But, I'm happy that I have a plan, at least...

Looking forward to having your company on the journey.

By the way, please do comment if you have a view on The Ghabazaar Gazette idea (see point 6 above)...