Monday 3 March 2014

Painted Guardsmen, Viking Horror, and finding military history in the oddest places...

To start off with some good news, I've successfully finished painting my first commitment in The Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge! I'm really pleased to have shrugged off last year's painting curse - these twenty models, painted in a month, are more than twice what I painted in the whole of last year.

For this month, I'm trying to do 20 Imperial Beastmen, which I will use as Penal Legion. I will be super sad if the new Guard Codex does away with Penal Legion once I've finished modelling them! I'm also acutely aware I still owe you all a "how to" painting guide for them, which I hope to get up this month.

A good friend of mine, James Holloway, who I have sometimes mentioned here as The Gonzo History Project, has written a short book. It's called The Barest Branch and is available to buy on DriveThruFiction. If 9th Century Lovecraft inspired horror is your thing, then I would suggest going and having a peek. Its available for the same sort of pocket change that the short Games Workshop ebooks go for, and I'm pretty sure a few of the people who read this blog would similarly find it interesting. So please, go buy it, read it, and leave a comment on James' blog telling him what you thought of it!

The other day, I went for a walk near my work, and was surprised to turn a corner and find an anti-aircraft gun.

It turns out that Mudchute City Farm is based on land that was an anti-aircraft site during the blitz. There's a little history about it on their website, and a little more on plaques around the site.

The purpose of the site was to help protect the London docks during the blitz. There were plenty of interesting facts, including that the guns did not actually shoot many bombers down - their main purpose was to force them to fly higher and make their bombs less accurate.

There was also mention of how they were usually electronically and remotely fired from a bunker, but that in one particular incident, a bomb hit disabled the remote firing, so someone got a medal for rallying the crews to go out and man them manually through the raid.

This is definitely the sort of thing I would recommend people make the effort to go and see if they are nearby in the area - its not much, but its in easy reach of Canary Wharf and Maritime Greenwich, so would not be too hard to make a trek to via the DLR should you happen to find yourself in either place.