Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Phew, that was quite a year!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year in the great blogging tradition. For once I am not going to lay down grand hobby related plans for the year ahead, I'm just going to let things take their course. If I am honest with myself I am struggling for motivation on the wargaming front once again, although I continue to get much pleasure from painting soldiers. The figure per block C&C project has gone well with over 200 figures painted, I need to find some Portuguese and then I do plan to do the Prussians simply because I see so many beautifully painted Prussians on the 'vintage' blogs that I really want to paint some. I have decided to refrain from expanding the 'units' and stick to the original intended format of 1 figure/1 block.

The 40mm collection has hit the 350 painted figures mark and I now have 4 more Chasseurs undercoated and will just plod along with these as and when the mood takes me. Andy has more cavalry figures for me in the pipeline.

One thing I do want to do is to paint some armour again this year. Before we left the Uk in March I had ordered both the German and Soviet Bolt Action Tank war starter sets as I saw them on offer at a price I could not resist, £75.00 per set. This might seem a lot of money for a box of plastic, but bearing in mind these plastic kits are currently on sale at £20,00 a shot from warlord games they were a good deal, both sets are now listed at £95.00 each on the warlord site. The German set came over to Spain with us, but the Soviet set was 'lost' at my Daughters house until recently, thus the motivation to make a start on the first Tiger 1 you see below. I really enjoyed putting the kit together having first undercoated by brush on the sprues. I used Superglue with no problems as I have no Plastic cement here. I have no grand plans beside enjoying building and painting the 12 kits, but lurking in the back of my mind is a Winter theme, something I have never attempted before so represents a fresh challenge. I had previously built the resin Tigers from Warlord, but have to say these plastic kits seem to carry much more refined and sharper detail. The 4 part tracks can be tricky but after working things out with a dry run they went together perfectly with no gaps, the superglue gave me a very tidy finish. You see the first kit with a dark grey dry brush over the undercoat, next stage is to figure out how to give it that whitewashed look for the Russian Winter. The commander will be replaced with a metal one from warlord, he sits far too high out of the turret!

The tracks are not yet attached for ease of painting and the turret just twists off.

Commander stands far too high, he would soon lose his head!

Fine detail on this kit, the Zimmerit coating being very well defined.

You get a lot in the box, I like the red pin markers that turn on the bases.

Magnificent 40mm Chasseurs (Sash & sabre) awaiting a paint job.
And finally, to return to the title of this post 2018 was quite a year moving to Spain and settling down here on the Costa Blanca, packing up the house and getting everything down here was pretty stressful at times, we learned a few lessons, lost a few thousand euros on an unsuitable property before finding our current house, but we are not done yet! Lovely as it is up here on Monte Corona we want to live down in one of the villages, we have both reached that conclusion. Many of the villas here are second homes and empty over Winter. We want to be less reliant upon the car and to be able to fully integrate ourselves into Spanish life so we are looking at Villalonga and possibly an apartment from where we can walk to local cafes, bars, restaurants, municipal pool, sports centre, shops  etc. We also want to be able to travel. So that's our next step for 2019. We will still be only 15 minute drive from Gandia and it's beautiful beaches. Yesterday being New Years Eve we were both feeling a bit deflated having spent our first ever Christmas without the family, we really missed them all, so went down to the beach and marina to remind ourselves why we came here, it did us a lot of good, we sat and ate mussels with a glass of Stella watching the locals enjoying splashing in the Mediterranean. The kids are due back out in January so won't be long before we see them again. Life is nothing if not an adventure.

Gandia Marina, there are some whoppers in there as well as the smaller sailing crafts.

The beachfront seafood restaurant.

Miles of golden sands, the Brits tend to go down to Benidorm in summer, but Gandia would be my choice for a holiday.


  1. Lee, nice looking kit - you'll have to take it to the beach as that's probably the only place it will have room to exploit the full reach of it's firepower.
    Intrigued by the "red pin markers that turn on the bases" - do they have numbers on the base so turning them indicates how many point of 'pin'/'damage' or something like that? I'd appreciate a closer look in a photo in your next post.

    1. Hi Rob, the Tiger is indeed a big beastie, but of course with Bolt Action you get to play with the 88mm guns on a 6 x 4 table! I only noticed the pin markers today as it happens, the bases are marked 1 to 12 and the explosion bit has a pointer on it and turns... I like them and will get you a close up for next post.

  2. Beautiful beach, especially at just 15 minutes away. An incredibly busy and demanding year one way or another, hopefully 2019 will see you get into your stride, house wise and table-wise.

    I like the the Tiger tank with the anti-mine paste. I have the fast build 1/72 ones by Italeri, but had to use a bit of green stuff on an open joint that was in the same place on two models - never-the-less, they do make for impressive vehicles.

    There is a boardgame called Fading Glory by GMT, it has 4 Napoleonic battles including Salamanca, using a system which only uses 20 counters (different ones in each battle) and half sized mounted mapboards. It uses cards, but they assist the game rather than drive it and each card can be used by either side, so solitaire play is OK. It is a game with a small footprint that plays relatively quickly and might be useful for some occasions when you don't feel like setting up a bigger table, or when gaming motivation is low. I think it is a game that players of C&C would warm to.

  3. Best of luck with your new life, it must have been quite a decision to make.

    1. Cheers Robbie, it was a couple of years in the planning, and no regrets so far.

  4. Always a pleasure to hear from you Norm and thanks for the link to Fading Glory, I'm going to take a look at that. Hard to find plastic kits that fit together 100%, but this one is very good although still a couple of couple of small gaps to fill. I think the resin version put me off, not nearly as crisp detail as the plastic and could not get the tracks to fit without big gaps so sold them off! I'm working on how to achieve that winter look now, if I bugger it up I know it will knock my enthusiasm but I have a few ideas.

    We have really begun to settle here last few months but know we need to live in a village to be really happy so that's the next step and it can't be as stressful as getting here in the first place, worth it though :)

  5. You seem to have done a huge number of things over the last year!

    Moving from the UK to Spain would have taxed anyone, and a doubt that many could have done as much figure painting as you have done ... and to such a high standard as well!

    It sounds to me as if the move closer to the centre of things will benefit you in lots of ways. Not only will it be easier for you to access local services, it will also enable you to assimilate better. I have many friends who own places in Spain, but most live on expat urbanisations and very few ever learn more than a few words of Spanish. They claim to 'live' in Spain, but the reality is they just visit for long holidays.

    I'm sure that your wargaming mojo will return in due course.

    All the best,


  6. Hi Bob, good to hear from you.

    I'm sure the figure painting continues to be my therapy, I find the total concentration it requires helps to focus my mind and combat the dreaded 'Black Dog' who does not appear so often at all these days :)

    The urbanisation we currently live on is 'Monte Corona' and although only 2 kilometres from Villalonga -once you get down the bottom of the hill- has nothing within walking distance, we are totally reliant upon the car and Sharon doesn't drive. Villalonga has a population of just under 4,000 and I'm told only 100 British ex pats live there, several of whom we have got to know, but mostly on a permanent basis, the locals are so warm and friendly and our Spanish is coming along a treat as a result of the time we spend there. I can't believe how many of the Monte Corona villas are second homes used for holidays or letting out to the holiday market!

  7. You've had a busy year! Nice tank, difficult to keep up with you but of course you like 28mm tank or two,its funny but I was given bolt action tank war in a terrific wargame shop in Bilbao when I bought a Rubicon T34/85, bit of a schlep for you but a great shop, happy New Year!
    Best Iain

  8. Hi Iain, I think a return to Bolt Action may well be in order, but this time with a winter twist so that I'm not revisiting old ground. I always liked the game, but I went a bit OTT with the collection and it overwhelmed me a bit....... You know me by now!


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