Monday, January 14, 2013

2013, Onwards and Upwards!

The gallant Premierlieutnant Istvan Nagy.
It's hard to believe it's been so long since my last posting. Since then, I've had a month long practicum teaching French at a local high school, which was quite an experience. That led into the silly season, when besides a rather impressive haul of Christmas and Birthday presents, I also got a dose of shingles which knocked me out for a few weeks. Add in some planning for a wedding which is VERY rapidly approaching, and the year simply flew past. It feels like I had blinked and then it was 2013! 

Sidney Roundwood, the man behind the superb Roundwood's World blog, recently posted a post which was a round up of 2012, which has prompted me (albeit belatedly) to do the same. 

On the whole, 2012 was a rather spectacular year for me. From January to July Laura and I were on our exchange to the University of Leeds. I had the opportunity to take some fascinating classes,  and managed to come through with a couple of 'firsts' (as fr as i can gather the equivalent of a High Distinction). I travelled down to Triples at Sheffield, where I met up with people i'd chatted to via email and forums but had not met in person. I even managed to get in a game of Dux Britanniarum run by Rich Clarke and Sid Roundwood. Besides visiting the excellent Royal Armouries at Leeds, I headed down to the RAF Muesum in the North of London, where wandering around the Spitfires, Hurricane, Messerschmitts and a plethora of other aircraft I felt like a kid again.

While travelling around Europe, I visited museums, castles and historical sites in Budapest, Andalucia, Tuscany, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.


The consummate professional, Major Driant
I returned home inspired to get gaming and to crack on with some projects. I got back into gaming with the lads at the local gaming club, and my 20mm WW2 British army has now seen a lot of action. I also began digging out my 28mm Napoleonic figures and organising them into a force for Sharp Practice. Alongside this, I was pottering along with the commission work. 

University for the second half of the year seemed to swallow almost all of my time. I particularly struggled with French, as i'd missed a semester of a sequential course while I was in Leeds, so was forced to play catch-up. I ended up scraping through that course with a pass, which thankfully was balanced out by the HDs I got in the other subjects. 

Then prac, christmas, shingles and here we are. 

As I see it, 2012 has been a very successful year for gaming, but an absolute failure for this blog (three posts in 12 months!!) and for painting (it's not even worth mentioning the pitiful number of figures i've completed). However, I managed to get in more gaming than I have previously, met a bunch of people in the UK, visited a plethora of historical sights, museums etc, and even managed to get in a few games of Sharp Practice with the guys at the club. 

So, some New Years resolutions seem to be in order. 

1. More blog posts! I'm hoping to get at least two per month. These will track the process of projects i'm working on, as well as giving some AARs from solo and club games. Who knows, i might even throw in some book reviews and finally get around to posting some updates about the museums and sites i visited in Europe.

2. Paint more figures. I've set myself a few projects for this year, and want to limit myself to these as much as practicable. More on what these projects are next update. 

3. Keep up with the gaming. I've really enjoyed actually getting some gaming in, and am determined to keep on with this. 

So, pretty simple right? Lets see if I can stick to it!

And just because I want to keep this update pretty, and inspired by Alte Fritz (of Der Alte Fritz Blog i've included some pictures of my Sharp Practice troops on a New Years Parade.

Chat Soon!
Ben
The Kaiserliks on parade.  My gradually growing K.u.K Austrian force has now seen some action.
And the forces of l'Empreur. As with the Austrians, i've plans to expand these forces considerably.
The leading cast, Austrian Big Men.

And Les Grandes Hommes, the Emperor's finest. 
The elite companies of the first battalion, 3e Regiment de Ligne. 




12 comments:

  1. G'day Ben, great to see a post from you again. Sounds like you had a very full 2012, looking forward to seeing more of your top notch painting in 2013.

    Cheers,
    John.

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    1. Thanks mate, 2012 was rather insanely busy. Hopefully this year will see more blog updates - i'm going to try to get one up in the next few days.
      Ben

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  2. Happy New Year, Ben and Laura! Those figures look absolutely terrific - where have you been hiding those?!?

    Sounds like you had a great time last year. Funnily enough I was looking at your Stockholm photos over New Year as Mrs Roundwood is interested in going there - they were spectacular.

    Here's hoping you have a brilliant year - and yes, keep up the painting and the blog, mate!

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    1. Thanks Sid, and a Happy New Year to yourself and the mrs also.
      I've had Sharp Practice odds and sods squirreled away for some time. I dug out, rebased what I had with the fab warbases gear and added some more bits and pieces.

      Stockholm was fantastic, the Historiska Museet is a must see, as is the Armeemuseet. Besides that, just wandering about the city is a superb experience, particularly Gamla Stan if you can time it to avoid the tourist crowds. Also, if you at all get a chance do consider heading up north. My lecturer at Leeds reccomended the Uppsala University museum, which apparently has some of the most important artefacts from dark ages Scandinavia. We went a fair bit further though, taking the sleeper train to Abisko, above the Arctic circle. We spent a few days there, being awestruck by the Aurora Borealis, going ice fishing, and dog sledding. Amazing place, and a fantastic country. It's just a shame that the cost of living is so high.
      More blog updates will be coming up soon hopefully.
      Ben

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  3. Oh, hell, shingles? Hope you're feeling better, for your sake, never mind the blog's!

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    1. Yeah, it was a rather crappy few weeks. I was able to have the antiviral medication which limited it to a fortnight rather than a few months.

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  4. Happy New Year!

    Really like the minis... They lookmtop!

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    1. Thanks mate. More coming up in the next few weeks.

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  5. Happ New Year. You're a busy chap, so no shame in not getting as much blogging done as you would like. As for painting, I am quite in awe of your Napoleonic figures, they are all top drawer. I hope you find time for some Sharpe Practice gaming with them and maybe some AARs here? I am sure Major Driant is yearning to earn his Marshall's baton from the hands of the emperor.
    I am looking at going back to grad school myself on the Army's dime in the second half of 2013, and am curious to see how much time my studies will leave for my hobby projects.
    All the best to you and Laura!
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Thanks Mike. I've managed to get a few games in with the figures so far, but on all occasions been so wrapped up in the game that i've completely forgotten to take any photos. The guys from club want to have another game in the next week or so, so there'll definitely be an AAR and some pictures coming up. Driant and the Frenchies have thus far managed to get their derrieres handed to them by the kaiserlicks twice in a row. Still, third times my prove to be the charm.
      What are you going back to study? I've found that despite the outward appearance of 'free time' which comes with university study, much is taken up with set readings, essay writing or old fashioned study. That said, the holidays do usually allow me time to catch up on some painting and gaming.
      Cheers,
      Ben

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  6. Hi Ben, great to see you back blogging, love the painting of your troops, it look fantastic. Sounds like you had a brilliant 2012, all the best for 2013, and the up coming event.

    All the best

    Airhead

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  7. Great painting job, great figures..

    Ciao
    Stefano

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