Saturday, 28 December 2019

A Couple of Eureka Figures Completed

I have fancied getting a unit of Eureka's Gordon Horse ever since they came on the market a few years ago and recently bought the officer (Gordon himself in theory) plus his standard bearer. I intend using these two as a generic command element to add to my Covenanter force (poor old Gordon will be spinning in his grave!) but I haven't decided exactly how yet, so they remain unbased.

Two images of each figure below, followed by examples of the last two Portuguese line battalions I will need to paint to round out Silvieras Division, the 13th (2 figures on the left) and 24th regiments (3 figures on the right) commanded by Bradford.

Somehow I have managed to add the image of the Napoleonic figures twice and I can't figure out how to remove the extra copy on this #~*#$! iPad....! Maybe next time I will have a try at loading everything in reverse, as Mark suggested.

Thursday, 26 December 2019


In addition to the fact I have had"technical issues" that I was too lazy to try to overcome, another reason for my lack of motivation on the blogging front for the last few months has been a very low level of productivity on the painting front.

My current"project" in as much as I have one at all, is to build up a small to medium Portuguese Napoleonic force. To this end, I am working my way through the battalions that made up Silvieras Division, based on an order of battle I found in Haythornthwaites book, Wellingtons Military Machine.

This indicates four brigades of three battalions each, with the exception of the first brigade .....De Costa 2nd and 14th Line, Campbell 4th and 10th Line and 10th Cacadores, Pack 1st and 16th Line and 4th  Cacadores, and Bradford 13th and 24th Line and 5th Cacadores.

I started this project about this time last year I think and have posted images of the De Costas Brigade previously. The images below are of Campbell's Brigade, 10th an 4th Line and then Packs Brigade, 1st and 16th Line. Still to be purchased are two more Line battalions and three of Cacadores . All the line infantry are Warlord Black Powder plastic figures. Cacadores will probably be purchased from Front Rank, although I have also considered getting these from Brigade Games.

I appear to have been able to take the images on my phone, email them to myself and save them on the iPad, as I found the iPad camera was not good enough for the full battalion images...they were very grainy. As I was at it anyway, I also took an individual image of each of th Eureka Victorian ladies ...I am not sure what they will be used for yet, I have just always fancied painting them!

Tuesday, 24 December 2019



This is just a quick test to see if I can upload an image to this blog using a ten year old iPad. Mark of 1866 and All That fame tried to explain it to me at the Sunday Cowboy game but that involved emailing photos from my phone so not sure I will get to the level of technicality! What I DO think I may be able to manage is taking a picture using the iPad camera then loading that image to the blog.

The other thing I do not appear to be able to do is alter font size etc....I did try to make the title above a larger font size and bold, but couldn't go it to work....

Ok so I seem to have been able to load a couple of images but what I can't figure out how to do is "move" down the page so I can add comments below each these are four Victorian ladies from Eureka in Australia.

If this test works I will try to add some more posts over the next couple of weeks while I am on Christmas holiday....which started about two hours ago....YAY!

Friday, 5 July 2019

Final China Trip Post

Judging from the lack of comments on my previous post, people have probably seen enough of my trip to China, but I will persevere and finish it off with a few images from the last couple of days in Shanghai!

Communist flags in  Shanghai - we saw far more of these in this city than anywhere else we visited - perhaps because once upon a time, this was centre of European domination - and the Chinese are just making a nationalistic point about who is running things now?

Some of the impressive early twentieth century European architecture on the Bund - again, an abundance of Chinese flags adorn these buildings

Huangpu River view

Another view of the Huangpu River from the Bund

We were wondering up Nanking Road around 5pm when we noticed a large number of traffic policemen - there are around eight in this one small view of the street - they were deploying to every intersection in preparation for the rush hour....

Later that evening, the group visited the old French Concession area, where we partook of a traditional Chinese meal - Bavarian Paulaner Bier and Pretzels!

Another view of the architecture in the French Concession

Around eight pm, once it was dark, we took a boat trip on the Huangpu River to view the illuminated buildings - very impressive - much more so than the poor quality photos can portray

Next morning, our last full day in China, the first stop was the Maglev Train

The train is driverless and covers the 17km from the city to the airport in  4.5 minutes. Top speed is 440km/h!

Above the internal speed sign in the Maglev train, which runs using magnetic power and "floats" over the rail it runs on - hence the high speed achievable

After the train ride, we visited the Jin Mao Tower which is one of the tallest in the world - I think maybe number six. The fifth and fourth tallest are also in Shanghai - one of the more or less next door

Height sign in stairwell one level down from the observation deck floor

View of the Huangpu River from Jin Mao Tower

A couple more views from over 340m up in the air!

That was about it for tourist photo ops in Shanghai - we had the afternoon and evening still but these were spent visiting shopping opportunities and I did not feel inclined to take pictures of a thousand market stalls selling very good quality knock off Gucci and Dolce and Gabanna bags etc - even though my wife did buy a couple!

Final views as we arrived at Shanghai airport on day 11 of our tour

It was a great trip and I would recommend it to anyone. From this part of the world - NZ/Australia - it was an incredibly low cost holiday and China is not a country I would ever have imagined visiting when I was growing up in the 70's and 80's - it was almost as closed off from the world then as N Korea is today!

A few impressions - 

Beijing was a bit "tired" - they seem to throw up buildings very quickly but then don't maintain them - my wife was reminded of  Russia when she visited there in the 1980's.

The grey skies - everyone knows I expect - but its still strange to be standing on the street in 30+ degrees c heat, with bright sunshine casting shadows, yet when you look up, you cant see any blue sky! I think we saw a small section once in the 11 days we were there!

No sirens - we spent 4 days and nights in a city of 24 million people and 6 million cars - Beijing - and we NEVER ONCE heard any emergency vehicle siren. I live in a small rural town south of Auckland and we would hear police, fire or ambulance sirens at least once or twice every single day!

Lots of uniforms - it was hard to distinguish exactly who was who - some of the guys we thought were policemen may in fact have just been security officers - but there were a lot of them wherever you went - not intimidating but it was just very obvious compared with NZ - a bit like how there a police officers everywhere in central London.

Building works going on everywhere on a huge scale - where we would be putting up one ten story building, they would be doing ten or twenty multi story buildings at a time. 

A lot of trees, shrubs and flower beds - city streets often had trees along both sides of them, all the motorways were flanked by trees baring red and white blossoms - I had not expected so much greenery!

Sunday, 30 June 2019

China Trip - Hangzhou

After Suzhou, the next stop on our itinerary was Hangzhou, described thus on the Web:

Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, is the southern terminus of the ancient Grand Canal waterway, which originates in Beijing. Its West Lake, celebrated by poets and artists since the 9th century, encompasses islands (reachable by boat), temples, pavilions, gardens and arched bridges. On its south bank is 5-story Leifeng Pagoda, a modern reconstruction of a structure built in 975 A.D.

Marco Polo also described it as " The most beautiful and magnificent city in the world". 

We arrived in the evening and were allowed loose on the streets for a few hours, visiting another night market where we again purchased local street food. This evening was memorable for a huge storm that broke, hurling monsoon like rain down from the sky for about 90 minutes. This was the only rain we experienced in the whole trip.

View from Hangzhou hotel room
Local delicacies including scorpion - we did not purchase from this particular vendor!
Live goldfish and terrapins in a child's paddling pool - they could be caught using a small plastic fishing rod - not sure what happened to them after that - taken home as pets or tossed on the barbeque??

Next morning, we headed out into the countryside and visited the Dragon Wall Green Tea Plantation. Again, this was an opportunity to flog us all the product, but the experience was much more pleasant than some of the previous commercial visits, no doubt helped by the softer sales pitch from the young lady doing the presentation, who seemed genuinely interested in the green tea and explaining all the supposed health benefits, rather than just being there to sell it! She did say she had spent four years studying green tea

Entrance of the Dragon Wall Tea Plantation

Inner courtyard and large teapot

Above and below - Green tea demonstration

Above and below - the Dragon Wall Tea Plantation surrounded by fields of tea plants


Back on Hangzhou, a couple of street views. We noticed lots of trees and shrubbery everywhere we went in Chinese cities

Next we visited the Western Lake, spending about an hour peacefully meandering around its many islands on one of the boats below
Above and below - scenes from the Western Lake
Back on dry land, it was time for lunch. In the central courtyard surrounded by various food outlets, we saw this statue of a famous Chinese general, Yue Fei. A quick Google search provides the pen sketch below the picture

Yue Fei (March 24, 1103 – January 28, 1142), was a Han Chinese military general who lived during the Southern Song dynasty. He is best known for leading Southern Song forces in the wars in the 12th century between Southern Song and the Jurchen-ruled Jin dynasty in northern China before being put to death by the Southern Song government in 1142 under a concocted charge. Widely seen as a patriot and national folk hero in China, since his death Yue Fei has evolved into a standard epitome of loyalty in Chinese culture.

Yue Fei had six special methods for deploying an army effectively:
Careful selection
Careful training
Justice in rewards and punishments
Clear orders
Strict discipline
Close fellowship with his men

Above and below - our lunch - three whole deep fried squid each, pasted with thick soy sauce then the secret herbs and spices shaken over it, so they stuck to the soy - very tasty and a snip at 5 yuan - about NZ$1!

On the way back to the bus, we passed this … temple maybe? It looked cool anyway 

And that was us finished in Hangzhou. We spent a couple of hours on the bus travelling to Shanghai, where we would have two more days before the tour came to an end

Views from the bus entering Shanghai

Next China trip post will be the last as I share some images of the two days in Shanghai.