YouTube – On the Workbench

I started to fiddle around with my little uised YouTube channel and thought I would start with a look at what I am working on at the moment – and they be 6mm Ros and Heroics Poles for Cold War Commander.

Video is here:

Comments are welcome and I promise I will get better at that!

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YouTube Channel

I am thinking of starting to cover my Work in Progress (WiP) as well as other interesting (well, interesting to me) items on YouTube and link to the videos from here. Book reviews will remain here for the time being. What’s in the package and painting progress will go into both locations plus the odd piece to help you see what I am up to and how I do it.

First off the rank will be by Cold War Commander Poles so what this space, or more likely the space above when I make my next post.

A Celebration of Sorts

11 Years?

It seems I have been registered with WordPress.com for 11 years now according to the little note from WordPress last week.

Thomo’s Hole has been around considerably longer however. The early efforts are recorded for posterity in the Internet Archive (WayBack Machine). Web pages from the days when the number of sites on the Internet numbered around 100,000, not the billions that exist today.

Thomo’s Hole originally pre-dated Internet Banking, iPhones, the Spice Girls and Italy’s second failure to beat a Korea in the football World Cup.

However, as a registered user of WordPress, initially self-hosted (or rather Jeffro hosted) then later with the thomo.coldie.net URL pointing to a WordPress.com site, then yes, it has been 11 years. There were other blogging platforms (or better, CMSs) previously. Microsoft Live Spaces was sweet to use, early versions of Drupal, phpNuke and even earlier versions of hand-crafted HTML and CSS. Yep, been here a while. I dare say Thomo’s Hole will remain around long after I am gone as well, although perhaps the thomo.coldie.net URL will drift out of use.

The only real question concerning me today is, “do I try and monetize Thomo’s Hole?”. WordPress gets the revenue from the little ads you see down below. If I do monetize, should I move it to a platform where I can maximize the revenue stream? A few questions to ponder tonight while I am basing up the Poles ready for painting or starting work on the JGSDF Type 74 or perhaps even finishing another book ready for revueing. Plenty of time to ponder.

New Year, New Projects … or …?

It is now the middle of January 2018 and already over 4% of the year has passed by. Normally at the start of the year I sit down and consider wargaming projects and other items I want to get through in the coming year at the same time reflecting on the previous years efforts. So, what did I achieve in 2017. Pretty much nothing. I did read a few books,  I did clean up and prepare some figures for painting at some time in the future, I had a couple of wargames (DBA in 6mm) with a mate and I finally got off my expansive behind and went to the Makati Marauders and played some boardgames. I also added a little to the lead-pile – mostly in the area of aeronefs and 1/1200 scale coastal ships although there was one 6mm Cold War Commander army added as well. I bought a lot of rare earth magnets too.

Not very much really.

What do I have planned for tonight? Same as every night Pinky, World Domination! Oops, sorry, channeling Pinky and the Brain

Plans for 2018? Paint. Game. Read!

Painting

I have a substantial lead pile here and this includes 2017 purchases as well as stock I brought up from mum’s on my last trip back to Oz. The painting queue starts with completing the painting and basing for the 6mm CWC Danish followed by the 6mm BKCII Italians.

Next under brush is likely to be the 1/1200 scale coastal forces – British and Germans first, then the Italians.

Completing the painting of the BKCII Japanese is the last of the already prepared items to be painted in immediate painting queue.

Preparation and Painting

Now we start to get into the lead-pile in earnest. So many choices here:

  • Imperial Skies Aeronefs
  • 2mm ground forces for Aeronefs
  • 1/3000 scale warships for WW1 (Jutland)
  • 1/3000 scale warships for WW2 (Matapan, Philippine Sea, Bismark, Spanish, Dutch)
  • 1/3000 scale modern naval fleet (Russian)
  • 6mm Punic Wars DBA project
  • Spacecraft
  • 1/2400 ancient naval vessels
  • 1/2400 Napoleonic naval
  • 6mm BKCII Hungarians
  • BKCII Late War Soviets

The list goes on!

Construction

There are a number of kits at home as well – both modern tanks in 1/72 scale and 1/700 scale World War 2 battleships. I would like to get back into modelling again and refresh/rediscover my previous modelling skills.

Reading

I have a fallen behind on my reading rate lately. I want to get back to averaging a book every two weeks. Fiction for relaxation, non-fiction for learning and challenging my thinking.

Gaming

As I have been particularly inert in getting to the local gaming clubs, I need to get off my rapidly becoming more extensive bottom and get to the local club at least once every two weeks.

So, that is the plan for 2018. Somewhat less structured than previous years but a guide to the next few months never-the-less.

Watch this space for updates.

Review: Maximinus Thrax – From Common Soldier to Emperor of Rome – Paul N Pearson

Maximinus ThraxFrom Common Soldier to Emperor of Rome – Paul N Pearson
published by Pen & Sword
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9781473847033
Published: 24th August 2016

Maximinus Thrax, the Thracian, originally named Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus, was born circa 173 CE in Thrace and died in 238 CE, near Aquileia. He was the first soldier to rise through the ranks to become Roman emperor although his reign only lasted 3 years (235–238 CE). He was a Thracian tribesman “of frightening appearance and colossal size”. There were many feats of the strongman told about him and it was these strongman feats that brought him to the attention of emperor Severus. Maximinus was enlisted into the imperial bodyguard where he had a distinguished military career eventually achieving a senior command in the Roman invasion of Persia in 232 CE. Later he became emperor in a military coup. He was eventually ousted in a civil war pushed by the Senate against him.

I have been very much looking forward to my review copy of this arriving which, after a couple of redirects, finally found its way to me in the Philippines. I have been looking forward to this for a couple of reasons. One is that my knowledge of Rome is mostly based in the times of Augustus and earlier and second, I have been reading a fair bit of historical fiction of late set in the period of Rome in the second and third centuries CE. Harry Sidebottom’s series, Throne of the Caesars, is set in the reigns of Alexander Severus and Maximinus Thrax.

Pearson’s work is a narrative history of the life and times of Maximinus Thrax up to and past his assassination. It reads like a thriller, equipped as it is with various accounts of the treachery and assassination that were central to Roman politics.

Pearson covers the subject well, so well and in such an interesting manner that I am now looking for further reading concerning those times. The book itself is a great read and only real world time constraints (my day job) forced me to put it down at night.

My biggest surprise concerning Maximinus is that he has not been the subject of a movie yet.

I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has in interest in these times. I can also thoroughly recommend it to those who you who don’t as I am sure after reading this volume you will be searching for more information about this interesting period.

Quality Reading

Quality Reading at its best!
Quality Reading at its best!

One of the nice things about slipping back to Oz periodically is to catch up on some quality reading.

I did! Nine Phantom comics with 12 stories. That should keep me going until my next trip back to Australia!

As the bloke in Nambucca News Agent said, “no one used to buy these except me but now a lot of blokes come on and buy”.

“It’s the pictures”, I said!

Right – story number one about Mr Walker (*for Ghost who walks)

Merry Christmas

Ho, ho, bloody ho!
Ho, ho, bloody ho!

As Christmas Day has just slid past in Oz, at least on the East Coast, I thought I should get my Christmas Greetings out. Today was great, a nice relaxed day, large lunch, afternoon nap and now sitting in the cool of the evening and reflecting on the past year. More on that later.

Today, let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy New Year. As for me, I promise never again to spend nearly 6 hours with three gay hairdressers for a Christmas Party appearance. I certainly will never bleach my beard again … the smell was overpowering. The sparkling grey hair has turned to Ash Blonde so is due for the chop later this week.

Normal Thomo is resuming life as we know it!

And Another Year Passes at the Hole

Thomo’s Hole clicked over another year recently. Actually I have no idea what the exact birth date of the Hole is other than sometime back in 1996 or 1997 about the same time I went to work in Norway – 20 years ago!

I thought about the birth date over the weekend when I needed to re-register thomo.coldie.net for the domain within WordPress so that the link that has worked for probably 10 years or so kept driving to my blog. Whilst blogs are so last decade and I should now be snapchatting all this, the blog still has a good turnover of readers – around 100 views average every day and most come for more than one page. They come for a mix of reasons as well with popular posts and pages being the Korean’s that were captured by the Allies on the beaches of Normandy, the poem The Sad Tale of a Motor Fan, and the Idiot’s Guide to Painting American Civil War figures  to name three.

Whilst I have been particularly quiet over the last few months, I am starting to feel more relaxed and creative than I have been for a while so expect more updates soon. There are some book reviews pending which I will get to shortly and I am planning to actually get my brushes out on the weekend after the AFL Grand Final and put paint to figures again.

I did decide that as I had been so quiet and as another year passed in the Hole, I should adopt a new theme for Thomo’s Hole as the first step back and this is it.

So, stand by for the new and cruise back through the old, Th0mo the Lost is back!

Issues 1 to 6 of The Courier – For Sale

In cleaning up around the place I decided that I could part with issues 1 to 6 of the Courier. Having read these about 50 times each I thought it was time to pass them on to someone else. These date back over 35 years so are older than many wargamers these days. Read some early words from some of the grandfathers of wargaming.

These items are up on eBay – see http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/-/152077029572?

S-Model ZTZ-99A MBT 1/72 Unpacked

DSC02605
The Box – slightly damaged

I had plans of doing some painting today however one thing and another conspired to prevent that from happening. I therefore decided to have a look at the contents of a couple of the kits I had acquired recently – sort of get used to the contents before making them.

The Type 99 (Chinese: 99式; pinyin: Jiǔjiǔshì) or ZTZ99 is a Chinese third generation main battle tank (MBT). The tank entered People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) service in 2001. I originally thought the S-Model kit was expensive until I realised that the 1+1 on the box meant that there were two vehicles inside the box.

From Wikipedia: 99A, the Improved Type 99. Prototype testing was underway by August 2007 and believed to be the standard deployed Type 99 variant in 2011; upgradable from Type 99. The improved main gun may fire an Invar-type ATGM. It mounts 3rd generation (Relikt-type) ERA, and an active protection system. Has a new turret with “arrow shaped” applique armor. The larger turret may have improved armour and a commander’s periscope, and the tank may have an integrated propulsion system. Has a semi-automatic transmission.

Once I realised that the number of pieces in the box did not look quite so daunting.

DSC02606
The Sprues

Two sprues make up most of the parts. As with tanks, the first question is the tracks. Unlike older kits, the tracks here are moulded to some of the rollers with additional tracks to wrap around the idler and the drive sprocket.

The pieces are crisply moulded and appear as though they will be easy to remove from the sprue. I did not notice any flash with a quick look. At 1/72 scale this is a large tank, larger I think than the T-64 in my collection and that I will look at later.

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Photo-Etched Parts and the instruction sheet

Perhaps the best part though are the Photo-Etched parts. These are very finely modelled and will add very fine detail to various parts of the tank.

Currently the only users of the type 99A are the People’s Republic of China with 4 battalions of Type 99A (124 tanks) in service as of December 2015.

I am thinking to start this tank (or one of the other ones I purchased) this week.

Overall I like the model and I am looking forward to putting knife and glue to it.

I am also wondering what to do with the second vehicle.