Monday, August 19, 2013

Colonial or Funny Little Wars Inspiration

Quality is not great I am afraid - taken on my IPhone, it was hot and there was sangria involved!

Contrary to what some wags would say this is not the latest in Canadian Military fashion and weaponry.  Those are bolt action rifles and a MLR artillery piece dating from the 1885 Northwest Rebellion.

It's been a busy musical period in the Queen City this past 10 days.  Last Friday - Sunday it was the Folk Festival with some pretty good headliners.  We passed on this as we had McCartney tickets, but caught Neko Case and Rosanne Cash in a free set on Sunday pm and they were both wonderful.  Wednesday was Sir Paul and then yesterday was the Regina Symphony Orchestra's free outdoor concert in the park.

Which brings us to the photos above.  The concert ended (as always) with the 1812 Overture which requires things that make large booms.  Most years the RSO gets help from the Army lads (although one year they gave the audience members paper bags to burst in unison on cue).  This year however, the bangs came courtesy of the RCMP who arrived in full dress.  The RCMP has both it's training depot and its Heritage Centre (where the MLR lives) in Regina.  This is still the dress uniform and we do get to see it reasonably often in Regina - often at the airport when new officers meet their parents arriving for graduation.

Hat's off to the guys and gal, who were happy to pose for photos, interact with dogs and kids and made appropriate bangs for Mr. Tchaikovsky.  And most of all managed not to keel over from heat stroke since it was 35C with 50% humidity.  My wife and I were melting in loose cotton and the RCMP was in Red serge, leather knee high boots and leather gloves.  The only thing remotely climate appropriate was the hat which while felt at least kept the sun out of their eyes.

Anyway it was a nice afternoon out - we brought a yummy picnic including sangria and met up with our daughter after her work shift ended.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Way off Topic - McCartney Concert

It's been slow on the gaming and modelling front of later.  I've not played a game for 3 weeks due to other commitments and the household is focused on getting our daughter ready for University.

However, this week I did a chance to see one of my childhood heroes in concert as Paul McCartney was in town and played at Taylor Field (the home of the local football team).  It was an amazing show - a 3 hour sing along and he and his band sounded great.  I home that I have half his energy when I hit 71!
Photos from the Ministry of Truth (or the CBC)

We told our daughter - look if your learned to play the bagpipes you could have been on stage with Sir Paul
The wife of a former student gets Paul to sign her wrist - it was turned into a tattoo within an hour.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Reading Shelf

This week I've been reading

Or as my family calls it the Cyberman book!!

Anyway it's very good, if off my current painting and gaming areas (must resist).  It's a big canvas covering the Late Roman (i.e. Byzantine), Sassanid and Arab empires and touches on a lot.  Much of the book is about the development of the key religions during late antiquity and the interactions between religion and state politics.

A topic that I found interesting was the fate of some of the lesser known sects and religions that lost out in the politics.  I had encountered Manichaeism and Nestorian Christians in earlier readings about the Silk road, and it was interesting to find out where they came from before they self-exiled themselves to Central Asia.

So far I'm half way through and still haven't hit the conquests of Belisarius, Heraclius or Muhammad and his followers.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cool Site on Hoplites

Last week my wife and I took a day trip to Saskatoon (2.5 hrs away) to visit Lee Valley Tools and McNally Robinson books two fine stores which we lack in Regina.  The morning was spent in Lee Valley buying watering system gadgets for our garden and drooling over wood carving tools (must resist a new expensive, messy and time consuming hobby with the danger of self injury).  Then we went to the bookstore, where I found (but did not buy) a book that hit both my wargaming and wife's sewing hobbies.  A How to on making linen body armour.  A quick google search led to this site by the prof at UWGB who co-wrote the book.

Also we have a how to poster  and a pattern.

So what if I get my wife who sews to make me a Linothorax?  Then I get my 18 year old (who teaches at a sports camp including archery) to shoot arrows at me while I wear said armour to test it out?  Ok maybe we'll keep this on the drawing board for a while.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Readings and Ramblings

So the recent Hail Caesar game got me thinking more about my ancient (mid 80s) greek armies.  I could have sworn that I had a bag of left over Greeky bits (odd figures and spare Rafm spares) but I thorough scrounge through the spares and unpainted piles came up short.  So back to the drawing board on getting new figs....Maybe when the kid is off at uni I can justify a small order.

Meanwhile I been trying to figure out how to base my units for Hail Caesar.  No firm decisions on questions like 16 or 24 man units?  2 or 3 ranks deep?  Use the official HC 20mm per fig or the existing 15mm per man frontage?  Oh well.

On the plus side I've been reading!

Highly recommended - if majorly depressing.  It's always a wonder that those darned meddling Hellenes managed to buy their hatchets long enough to turf the Persians out of Greece.  Any way I learned that the Hoplite class was real read and needed to be burly to cart that panoply about.  Plus apparently olive trees are really tough to get rid of (the author tried to take out old fruit trees on his land and broke his axe).  While the big hoplite clashes were limited, there's plenty of scenario based stuff to work with.