Tuesday, 2 January 2018

...and all that

There was a heartfelt request in the comments a few days ago that I should post about anything other than wargaming, but as I find myself in the odd position of not having done much else, wargaming it is.

I have been reading 1066, the special edition of Medieval Warfare. The only previous one of these that I have read is 1453, which I enjoyed.  There are a couple of negatives with this one: the maps are particularly poor, showing not much more information than the fact that towns such as London, Durham, Rouen etc all seem to have been in pretty much the same place then as they are now; and the proof reading also leaves a bit to be desired. I know that the publishers don't have English as their first language, the same indeed being true for many of the contributors, but the issues are mostly typographic rather than idiomatic. However the chapters on context such as the backgrounds and experiences of  Harold, Haraldr and William are good, as is the one on what happened next; even if strangely excludes Sellars and Yeatman's insight that "William next invented a system according to which everybody had to belong to someone else, and everybody else to the King. This was called the Feutile System,... ".

I wasn't previously aware of the level of 'restoration' of the Bayeux Tapestry undertaken over the centuries. When one goes to see it they tend not to mention that it might not be be an accurate reflection of how it originally looked. I shall investigate some more. Also new to me was the Battle of Northam in June 1069, although I don't seem to be alone in not knowing much about it. Nick Arnold, the chap writing that article, is rather groping in the dark I think; nevertheless I shall keep an eye out for the book he is apparently writing on the battles of 1069.

In other news I convinced myself that drybrushing a second shade onto the wire wool smoke would be easier because the previous coats would have made it stiffer. They hadn't and it wasn't. However, despite being darker and greyer than I originally envisaged, it has reached the stage of  'it will do' (admittedly a reasonably low hurdle in the Casa Epictetus) and, Storm Eleanor permitting, I shall shortly be moving on to another solo run through of 'Blue Guitar'.

"With the brush we merely tint, while the imagination alone produces colour" - Theodore Gericault

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