Friday, July 31, 2015

Thought showers..How I get my ideas Part 1

The scratch-built Mortar Platform

Now if there is a phrase I particularly dislike it is 'thought shower'. It ranks with 24-7, tipping point, embedded and paradigm shift all of which are equally cringe making.
Ironic then that I actually have many of my most creative wargaming ideas in the shower. As my recent summer holiday came to regrettable end I was having a shower and mulling over the fact that the game communicated for this year's Claymore show was a Great Northern War effort for which I had done zero planning, zero painting and was basically not even out of the starting blocks with.
Merchantman rigged for wargaming!
With three weeks to go it was a fairly common Hilton situation. I had done some winter Donnybrook scenarios with the GNW but I wanted to get back home and actually paint something for the game and not just produce a rework of an old idea.

I also wanted to use my newly finished ships and so.....

The idea of a late war Russian encroachment into Sweden came to mind and then it all started to tumble out... a thought shower... ughh, more accurately, some thoughts in the shower.
Make in Deutschland, bought in Belgium, painted in Alba
There were many things to tidy up and finish but two particular ideas came to mind which I wanted to start from scratch.

The first was to put some of the new Great Northern War Swedes in trenches. This idea I had previously used for Napoleonic Russians but those were plastic and in summer trenches. I wanted metal models in winter trenches this time.
Cutting them gave me shivers
The second was a largish floating artillery platform with which to bombard Sweden.. well, not literally. This turned out to be something I am particularly proud of as I built it without drawings or plans and with old rubbish which I had lying around the garage. I measured very little, made most of the judgment calls by eye and used six tools - a Black & Decker domestic drill, a pin drill, a pair of pliers, a scalpel a steel rule and a small B&Q hacksaw.
A meld of manufacturers
This series of posts details my Claymore downhill skiing slalom - produced at speed, somewhat chaotic, very exciting and I think... quite successful!

As an appetite sharpener I have included one shot each of the some of the finished stuff. The 'How to' stuff will come later.


  1. Geeze Barry, just when I think that you have reached the limits of creativity and awesomeness, you come up with something even better. The mortar platform is a beauty, but those Swedes in the sled just knock me off of my feet.

  2. Those pics really are outstanding Barry. Love the new rigging on your merchantman- and the slime of course- and all the snowy vignettes are wonderful. Looking forward to seeing images from Claymore over the weekend.
    Inspired by your earlier shipping post, I have started work on 3 x 15mm hulks that have lain, black-hull undercoated in the loft - unloved. Balsa masts now purchased from nearly extinct local railway model shop and tissue paper soaked in white glue and painted to form rolled sails now done. They will form the basis of a fleet (of 3! ) that can fly Marlborough's flag as he sails into Kinsale or a Williamite banner as they head down the to follow

  3. The mortar battery is a wonderful idea and very creative

  4. You have done it again Barry, will have to come up and see your mortar barge in person, outstanding


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