This blog has long had an interest in the movement of the earth around the sun and so it is fitting that as the days start to get longer once again that we find the time for another post. There are many reasons for our absence, and possibly the least among them is that I have hurt my arm dry brushing. There was a level of derision in certain quarters when I passed on that news, but unlikely as it sounds, it's true. Perhaps readers deserve a recap.
When I was last here I was playing through a solo try out of my 'Blue Guitar' company level (or possibly battalion or even brigade level - I'm not entirely sure what the naming convention is) Great War wargames rules, and also providing a much needed running score update of the cricket in Australia. What happened next was that there was a bit of a cold snap in the UK and my enthusiasm for going outside to the annexe to roll dice and push little plastic men around a table rather dwindled. It seemed a convenient point to pause, properly write up all the rule amendments arising from the playtest and start again. In particular as weapon ranges had been shortened during the game the defending Germans had suddenly found themselves isolated from each other and rather easy to pick off, one unit at a time.
As I said earlier, it was a bit parky so I retreated to the warm to do some painting and modelling of various player aids. I wanted to make some smoke markers and after due consideration decided to make these out of wire wool. (I should mention that the same doubters mentioned above were also sceptical about this choice, given the material's noted flammability and my own equally well documented propensity to set things alight whilst painting them.) One attraction to me was the opportunity to get out the hot glue gun, which I have owned for years, but which never sees the light of day. Inexplicably, but somehow inevitably, despite never using it I had managed to run out of glue sticks, thereby causing a delay while more were procured.
At that point the cold weather gave way to wet and several more days passed before I could take the stuff outside to spray it with primer. I decided to prime in grey, thinking to dry brush over the top in white. This was a mistake. The grey was much darker than I thought it would be - in fact it was almost exactly the shade on the cap of the can; who'd have thought it? - and wire wool is an absolute bugger to dry brush. This coupled with yet another duff decision, namely to model enough markers to make a smoke screen a metre in length all in one go, have given me a painful RSI type strain to my arm coupled with a great reluctance to overbrush with any more shades. So, my advice for anyone wishing to make some smoke is to prime in white and, even more importantly, don't use wire wool in the first place.
In case I should not post again before Christmas - and let's face it, I won't - Happy Yontiff to you all.