Tuesday 30 August 2016

One Down, About 25 More to Go...

The 'corner project' is finally finished on my behalf - now my wife has to plant whatever she wants, and keep the bed clean of weeds! Well, technically, I still have to add some high pH jointing sand, but that is a minor task in comparison with the workload I have endured here.

I have started the next subproject, namely the passageway from the terrace to the lawn.

I am going to do it in rows of six and five cobbles each, to have the rows offset by half, just like the lawn edge rows.

I got the top soil removed, put the tile sand in the ditch, and fetched a bunch of cobblestones, so I am all set for tomorrow (after doing this, I went inside, and continued my efforts to move the clutter from the living room dinner table to the newly erected prepping station in the study/office, so I did not make further progress in the garden today).

Monday 29 August 2016

Laying Down the Lawn Edges

I finally started on the cobblestone edge for the lawn. I had to burn away a fairly large tree root before I could get started (I tried to chop it up with my axe, but it was too 'chewy').

To burn the root, I simply fired up some barbeque coal, poured it over the root, and put more coal on top. Then I left the coal to do its thing, which lasted about 3 hours, all the while I dug the trench and poured 'tile sand' into it. Of course, I kept the garden hose ready nearby, should the heat set the grass edge on fire, but everything went according to plan.

I never really realized how uneven the lawn actually is, until I started laying down the cobbles and aligning them with the turf surface. I may - in due course - go back and even out the cobble-rows, filling in some of the 'hollows', but for now, the main objective is to get as much lawn as possible edged!

Sunday 28 August 2016

Reconfiguring my Workspace

Lately, out living room dinner table has disappeared more and more under my hobby-clutter, and as my wife's temper has worsened accordingly, I considered it wise to do something about it.

My dedicated elevated table-top for tinkering with minis and models has been sitting idle on the central table in the study/office/hobby-room for more than a year, and I figured that I should make it accessible, so that I can both prep and paint in the same room.

While waiting for the girls to return from school, and the wife to return from work with the car, so that the girls and I could get on the road to Horsens, I sorted the contents of some boxes from under the table, got rid of some stuff that was not needed any more, and moved the elevated tabletop into the position shown below.

I can now just turn my bureau-chair to switch between the prepping station and the pain(t) station, and one of the lamps on the central table doubles a work lighting and photo lighting (you can see my photo set-up to the right).

And my usual painting set-up. I am going to put up some narrow shelves on the wall for storing some paints, and shall probably get some vertical storage racks from Burn In Designs, if I can figure out which type fit the most kinds of bottles/pots.

Well, I still have some work to do, before the dining table can be used for its mundane purposes, but at least there is light ahead.

Horsens Medieval Festival 2016 - Friday Night

Like the two previous years, I took the girls and my tent to the large medieval festival at the old prison in Horsens.

I tried to capture some of the evening mood, but I still have not taken that digital photography evening class that I need to get the full potential out of my camera.

You can, however, make out the very limited use of electrical lighting (only a few tree canopies were illuminated upwards), and that most lighting was provided by torches and campfires.

To compensate for the lack of on-site photos, here is a picture of most of the stuff I bought for our medieval family inventory.

The drinking horn 'stands' are not really made from actual historical sources - but they are extremely practical when using drinking horns at the table. Because of the non-authenticity, they have been very hard to find in the re-enactment scene these later years, and I promtly seized the day and bought four when Lea spotted them in a stall.

The bodkin arrowhead was a free sample from the blacksmith, who also made the 'belthook' next to the 'scrounging-horn'. The belthook, came to be as I wanted to buy some s-hooks for carrying around the earthenware mugs we pay a DKK 30 deposit for, used by all the beverage sellers at the festival. The blacksmith had only one s-hook, and as he would have to make some anyway, we agreed that he should make some fitting on a belt more easily, and thus a new commodity was born. I met the blacksmith later, and he had been busy making more belt-hooks on demand ;D

The two 'badges' are bronze with inlaid enamel, and I intend to use them as turn/initiative markers for medieval wargames.

The leather water/wine/mead flask was a real bargain, compared to what I paid for the girls' 'canteens' a couple of years ago. It is rather large, and although I have not measured its volume, yet, I expect it to hold a full 75 cl. I shall have to rinse it thoroughly, and then I think I shall use it for mead when I go to Viking and Medieval events!

Friday 26 August 2016

For the Alliance... or Something...

Recent purchase.

I want a unit of Fountain Guards for my God of Battles Mercenaries proxy Gondor army, and I came across these on a Buy-and-Sell Facebook page.

I included the the High Elves, just because (I have a ton of plastic Hight Elves with swords and bows, butI can always find a use for a few more metal ones with spear and shield - and the missing shields can be replaced using Instant Mold).

The Elves and the Guard with the spear/hand off are going straight into the Ultrasonic Cleaner, and I am going to have to dig through my RotK blisters to find the Fountain Court Guards I know I purchased back when they were released.

The rest of the Guards can be used as is, until I get the cleaned one and two of the NiB ones painted, then I can take one at a time out of service and get it stripped and painted, until I have one full unit nicely painted - and then it will be time to search for a few more for another unit!

Thursday 25 August 2016

BoB Painting Club: Private Gideon Jones

I have been strugling with this little bugger since I returned from vacation; I wanted him to match the 'command section' I painted years ago for 'The Secrets of the Hidden Temple', and, of course, I had absolutely only the roughest idea about what colours/paints I used back then.

I also have no idea of the exact compositions of the colours I used on Jones, as I had to mix and match on the fly (using the approach of trial and error), which is not very effective, as the exact shade cannot be discerned before the paint has dried properly, so a highlight that looks right when painted on, actually may be too bright/chalky when dry.

Well - no colour breakdown this time, and I shall definitely NOT use this approach on any further minis from this series!

Do Not Call me Ishmael...

...and you cannot call me Al. Call me Khufu instead.

I got the first load of cobblestones (and sand) delivered yesterday, and, unfortunately, I was away fetching more soil from the recycling plant in Ringe as it arrived, and the driver unloaded the maxi-bag just in front of the garden gate, so I had to move the entire load (by hand and wheel-barrow), to be able to pass with the soil.

The other maxi-bag, containing 1.5 ton sand
for embedding the cobbles.
I managed to get the stoens moved, the soil unloaded, and get the trailer filled again on the way to Odense, as I had to pick up my wife from work.

All in all, I have now secured 3 loads (of approximately 1 cubic meter each) of soil, and I had to store it in different places around (and on) the front lawn, but I hope we have now enough for the beds that need renewal, AND the new ones that I am going to make (for some raspberries and an apple tree of the spartan kind).

Unfortunately, I fell sick last night, and I am not going to be able to do much work toda (and tomorrow - if my stomach allows it -  the girls and I are going to the International Medieval Festival in Horsens for the weekend, so there will be a lull in activities).

Well, at least I shall not have to wait for anything to arrive, before I can continue work next week...

The old sandpit, used by noone these days, was pressed into service for storing some soil.

I could not fit more soil here, as the edges contain some flower bulbs that my wife has to remove.

The corner bed, in all its newfound glory - with extra soil that has to be leveled.

And the left corner of the lawn - the only place I had to deposit some of the soil directly on top of grass.
At some point in the future, this corner will get the same treatment as the right one, so I am not too bothered about ruining the lawn.

Monday 22 August 2016

Potato Downer

My potatoes yield next to nothing this year, which is a real downer, as I did everything as prescribed by experts - but the heavy rain that ruined the plants did so just in time to prevent them growing spuds.

When we arrived home from Catalonia/France, the vegetable garden was totally overgrown with weeds, and I have started weeding the potato patch in order to be able to put a motorized garden cultivator to use (I shall probably have to buy a cultivator this autumn, but we shall have to see about that, as the car got a problem with the transmission during the vacation, and the repair may prove rather pricey.

Garden Project Continues

Returning home from night watch this morning, I went straight into the garden to continue the work I started earlier.

First, I removed almost all the grass and other weeds from the bushes clearing, so it is ready to be used as a storage place for more new soil, which I shall fetch from the recycling plant tomorrow.

The few areas I did not touch contain flower bulbs, which I prefer to let my wife remove herself, lest I damage too many of them.

I then altered the edge of the far right corner of the lawn (it is actually a nice circle curve, but the lawn is a bit uneven). Remember, that when I lay down the cobbles (which I ordered last night and expect to receive one of the next days, along with some sand for embedding them), I am going to remove turf equal to the width of two rows of cobbles.

Finally, a view of the newly cleared bed, bushes moved, and some me-nots and small pansies I saved from the bushes clearing area.

Unfortunately, at about 9:45 a.m. rain started pouring down, so I went inside, started watching 'The Last Kingdom', and fell asleep, so I do not know, whether I could have gotten more work done (the garden looked very wet when I woke up, though, and it is raining again tonight, which leads me to believe that I have not wasted much time).

Tomorrow I shall drive my wife to work, bringing the trailer, buy a step ladder for outside use (6 steps), and fetch a load of soil. In the afternoon I then have to pick up my wife from work, and again I shall bring the trailer and get another load of soil before going to Odense. I may have to get even more soil, as our strawberry bed is also in dire needs of renewal, and I guess that the easiest way is to again dig away the top soil, fill up with new soil, and then plant the seedlings.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Another Garden Project

Most of the last week I have spent almost all my spare time in the garden; up until now, both July and August had been really bad, with lots of rain (not yielding much water, but making outside activities rather unpleasant), and temperatures under 20 Centigrades, so when we got sunny, dry,, reasonably warm weather all of a sudden, it was time to get some serious work done!

In one corner of the front yard, the lawn had been permitted to slowly invade an area otherwise reserved for flowers and bushes, because it was full of old roots from bushes cut down before we purchased the house.

The last bush from the area I cleared in June (the one with the white flowers) had to be moved to that corner, so I had to do something about the grass.

To restore the bed to its intended use, I decided to dig away the turf, and then remove another layer of soil - as I wanted to get both roots and seeds removed, to prevent the grass from just growing back in a couple of months. Of course, I also dug up the roots.

I used a string to mark the edge of the bed. It is my intention to edge the entire lawn with a double row of small cobblestones (I have given up on cleaning the old bricks I got last year - we simply have too bad weather for sitting outside with this very messy/dusty work, so it is simply not going to happen), and they are going to be placed beyond the newly established edge (I shall have to remove turf accordingly).

The turf I used in the 'driveway' to our back yard. Two years ago, the water plant people did a lot of work on two wells in our back yard, and the wheels on the heavy lorries made an indent in the lawn at this point. I am now trying to even out the surface with the excess turf from the front yard.

The bushes at the back of the bed had to be moved (the largest one was far too close to the aplle tree to the right), but first, we had to get some soil from the recycling plant (it is free of charge) to restore the surface to the level of the lawn.

The two last pictures in this post is of the bed all ready for the new soil.

The intention is to remove all the low green shrubbery of which you can see some at the front, but it is very hard work, and I shall not continue doing that right now, instead focusing on getting the cleared area fully done.

Saturday 20 August 2016

Attic Attack IV: Day 2, God of Battles

Ulrik and Kevin had a go at God of Battles, Ulrik commanding his LotR Dwarves, Kevin taking control over my slightly re-configured Lizardmen army-

The Reptiles advanced in force on the central rock pass.

The Skink Archer company was annihilated by the Dwarven elites...

...but then the saurus Ravagers got stuck in - and made minced meat of the Dwarves!

It was getting late, and Kevin had to leave soon, and with his main unit (and Priest) gone, Ulrik was not very keen on fighting on, so we left it at that.

The beads were marking Miracles on the units, by the way, in case you wonder.

Currently, I am spending all my spare time in the garden, as the weather suddenly turned almost summer-like thi week, so I do not know if I shall have any gaming related news for a while, but if we get some rainy days, I should be able to continue work on my Company of Heroes for Blood Eagle (LotR Fellowship characters), so stay tuned!

Friday 19 August 2016

Attic Attack IV: Day 2, Dragon Rampant

This is likely to be the last Dragon Rampant AAR from my hand you will ever see, but I shall return to that subject further down the page.

Ulrik and Tobias played a game with my two 35 points warbands (I wanted a slightly bigger game than the one at Åcon).

The Elves advanced rather timidly, while the reptiles hurried forward.

At this point, Prince Arodon began a long series of Wild Charges which lasted for the most of the reminder of the battle.

The Lizardmen struggled to get through a lot of rough terrain on their right flank.

The current state of affairs is not really reflecting the flow of the game.
At this point, Ulrik (Lizardmen) had missed his first activation roll 4 or 5 times, and the only reason why the Elves did not control more of the battlefield was the very cautios advance made by Tobias.

A lot of Wild Charging and fighting on the Elves' left flank.

The Swordmasters cut through, first the Temple Guards, then the Saurus warriors, leaving only a few weak units for the Lizardmen to retreat.

Ulrik had the same kind of bad experience with this his first game with the 'Rampant' rules as I had with Lion Rampant, failing a lot of Activation Rolls, and seeing his battered units just withering away without any chance of rallying, and I have decided that Lion Rampant is going on the 'tried and rejected' shelf for now. It had its chance, but failed.

We are going to revive SAGA, and try out A Fantastic SAGA (fan-made fantasy rules add-on), and the High Elves at least (but probably the Lizardmen as well, as I have droves of unused models) will be re-configured to fit that system (I may have to find a few more painted models, or, alternatively, paint up some myself *shudder*).

I may also make a Blood Eagle warband out of some of the models, to have more variety at my disposal.