We went to the cinema last night. We actually wanted to see the Benjamin Buttons movie but it was booked out so we ended up watching Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston in Marley and Me.

The movie was based on a novel, Marley & Me, about the experiences of a journalist (or rather columnist) and his wife, when they first get a Labrador pup for a pet, in part to prepare themselves for a later family. Anyone who has had a Labrador (the only breed of dog to remain always a puppy) will find many scenes reminiscent of their own experience with that type of dog.

I must admit that perhaps the funniest performance in the movie comes from Kathleen Turner as Miss Dominatrix, the dog trainer. Watching her antics as she tries to show that a firm hand is all that is needed to take the role of Alpha dog in the home pack had tears of laughter running down my face as I remembered the efforts of teaching Jessie, our Labrador for many years, how to behave. Marley also reminded me much of the Labs of a couple of our friends.

As the movie progresses though it moistens the eye, not so much from laughter as from what is inevitable. We can see it, we know it is coming and there is no way the script writers could disguise the ultimate scenes, but even with that foreknowledge, it still endeared a feeling of pathos reminiscent of the dog story style of movies from the past.

This is a movie I’d recommend seeing as a feel good movie with a mix of comedy and pathos. In some respects, I am glad that Benjamin Button was booked out and that as a result we did have to see this movie.

The Chinese Steam Navy by Richard N J Wright

The Chinese Steam Navy by Richard N J WrightRichard Wright’s Chinese Steam Navy looks at the Chinese Navy from around 1860 through to 1945, the period that the Chinese first looked at expanding their navy with modern ships. The book covers the Sino-French War of 1884 and the Battle of Foochow in particular as well as the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5 and the disastrous Battle of the Yalu.

Click this link to read more.

Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1922-1946, editor, Roger Chesnau

Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1922-1946, editor, Roger ChesnauConway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1922-1946 is the third in the series by Conway, taking us from the end of the First World War to the end of the Second World War. Over this period, the Washington Treaty came into play, limiting capital ships. A rapid rearmament towards the middle and end of the ’30s also occurred. Conway’s is the most complete reference on ships from the end of the First World War until the end of the Second World War. Vessels in service with all navies over the time period are covered.

Better than the Janes publications, Conway’s draws on many sources to provide information on all vessels in service in the time period from Great Britain (including Empire Forces), USA, Germany, the Soviet Union, Japan, France, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Persia, Siam, China, Manchukuo, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Albania, Austria, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Eire, Iceland and Iraq. What a great list.

Click Here to Read More.

Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1906-1921, editor, Randal Gray

Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1906-1921Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1906-1921 is also one of my most used and viewed reference works at the moment (along with the other Conway’s and The China Steam Navy reviewed elsewhere). Conway’s is the most complete reference on ships from the end of the pre-Dreadnought period to the end of the First World War. Vessels in service with all navies over the time period are covered.

Better than the Janes publications, Conway’s draws on many sources to provide information on all vessels in service in the time period from the Great Powers (Great Britain, USA, Germany, Russia, Japan, Austria-Hungary, France and Italy); Coast Defence Navies (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey, China, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru); and the Minor Navies (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Haiti, Honduras, Latvia, Liberia, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Persia, Poland, Rumania, San Salvador, Sarawak, Siam, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Zanzibar).

Click here to read more.

Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1860-1905, editor Robert Gardiner

conways_01.jpgConway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships: 1860-1905 is probably my most used and viewed reference work at the moment (along with The China Steam Navy reviewed elsewhere). Conway’s is the most complete reference on ironclad and pre-Dreadnought vessels in service from the American Civil War through to the Russian Japanese War of 1904-1905.

To read more about this, follow this link.

15mm Chinese WW2

Well this morning the postman delivered a small package containing some new releases from EUREKA MINIATURES. I had heard Chinese Infantry for WW2 were being released and having seen the quality of other 15mm, such as the brilliantly sculptured Italian WW1, I was quite excited to see what these were like. Mike Broadbent sculpted the range, and his previous products have always been top notch.

I was certainly not disappointed and if anything my high expectations were exceeded.

There were four samples to examine and I looked them over at close range, in a bright light, by sitting them on the tabletop at ‘wargame viewing distance’, and by comparing them with some reference books.

Follow the link 15mm Chinese WW2 to read the full review.

Blitzkrieg Commander – Wargame Rules for WWII

Blitzkreig Commander RulesI don’t know if it is perhaps dangerous to say this after o­nly o­ne battle! But o­n Saturday Night my group used the new WW2 rules BLITZKRIEG COMMANDER and I would have to say that these are the BEST WW2 land rules I have ever used. Fast and easy to play with innovative systems. Brilliantly laid out and with just about everything you need, rather than lots of supplements.

These are the o­nly rules I have every used o­n a tabletop, where I actually got the feeling of ‘Blitzkrieg’. Les was attacking a Polish Cavalry regiment that had occupied a farm during the 1939 Poland, PBEM campaign I have been running for the Wargames Mongrel group o­n the WWW. Everyone caught o­n to the system by move two or three and from then o­n everyone called out the system and scores to get results. I felt that by the end of the game everyone knew the rules and could have refereed a game. It was bloody brilliant!!!

To read the full review, follow this link.

Poltava and Cataluna from WTJ Naval Miniatures

WTJ Naval is the manufacturing and foundry branch of The War Times Journal. Their main goal is the creation of affordable wargaming miniatures that have clean, accurately scaled features. The current line of 1/3000 scale naval miniatures was kicked off with the release of a long sought selection of pre-dreadnought battleships and cruisers, which will eventually include both war time fleets of the Russo-Japanese and Spanish-American Wars, as well as many rarely depicted European capital ships of this important era. The vessels are 1/3000 in scale allowing players to put on games within a medium to small sized area. Large fleet actions on larger battle zones can also be used. For example, using the General Quarters Rules and replacing the inch measuring system in them with centimetres, the Battle of Tsushima can be fought on an area the size of a standard table tennis table.

To read the rest of this review, click on this link. There are some pictures there of these vessels too.

WTJ Naval Miniatures website has painting guides and a full catalogue.

Cave of the Yellow Dog

We like the cinema here. It is run by a Korean company and the entry fee is 3,000 tugrigs each (about US $2.50). Toss another 2,000 tugrigs down for popcorn and drink and the movies become an inexpensive night out.We had seen “The Tale of the Weeping Camel” so Tseye decided that we should see the “Cave of the Yellow Dog”. Byambasuren Davaa wrote the screenplay to this as well as directing the movie. It is set in the countryside of Mongolia and is based around a herder’s family. The family is a real family, rather than actors, and they give a wonderful idea of what is like for a herder and his family.

The story is set around the family’s eldest daughter. She comes back from school early in the summer (herder’s children are generally boarded away at school during teaching time, coming back to the family during the school holidays). When looking after the family’s flock of sheep and goats she finds a dog.

Her father is worried about the dog though as they do not know where the dog is from, just that the dog was found in a cave and is therefore more likely to have wolf exposure. The father worries about the dog bringing the family bad luck. Indeed, it seems this may be the case although in the end the dog proves his worth.

A recommended movie this, doubly so as it really does give a good idea of life in a herder’s family in Mongolia. Note that the photo attached to this is not from the movie, but is a genuine herder’s hut.

Photo Galleries and Articles – an Index

I’ve included this post as an archived post so that when folks are searching for something in Thomo’s Hole and that something is in a gallery or on a page (rather than on a post) they have a chance of finding it. So, below are links to various areas of the site. And yes – this is a shortcoming of using a blog as the basis for the home page – I really need to organise better 😉 Gallery (and Albums) through Thomo’s Hole

  • Main Gallery Page
    • Mongolia Album – images from around Mongolia, both in Ulaanbaatar and the countryside
    • Museum Photos
      • Korean War Memorial Museum – Photos of Korean armour (armor) and Korean weapons, Ancient History exhibits, Korean War exhibits and material from the time of the Righteous Army and the Japanese assuming control of Korea. The museum is in Seoul (just up from Samgakchi Subway Station). The museum is full of displays of interest to military historians and wargamers in particular, covering the periods from ancient times to the Korean War in particular.
        • Koryo Dynasty – Photos of displays from the museum of Korean soldiers around the Koryo Dynasty (918 AD to 1392 AD)
        • Three Kingdoms Dynasty (Sam Guk Si Dae) – The Three Kingdoms period of Korean history – 37 BC to 668 AD – the kingdoms of Silla, Paekche and Koguryo – and the small group known as Kaya – not big enough to be a kingdom but an available ally never-the-less.
        • Chosun Period – Chosun Dynasty Korean – 1392 AD to 1910 AD – Arms and armour from the Chosun Dynasty of Korean history.
        • Korea in the Late 19th Century – The Daehan Army – Korea in late 19th Century – 1885 to 1907.
        • Admiral Yi’s Turtle Ship – Well, not the real one but rather a half scale model as well as neat painting of Yi SunShin at Hansan-do.
        • Korean Army Standards – particularly useful for wargamers, some neat standards from Korean History.
      • Royal Thai Air Force Museum – This museum is in Bangkok, Thailand, near Don Muang airport. It has many important exhibits including Boritapatra, Curtiss Hawk 75N and others – well worth the visit.
      • Palace Museum – Taipei, Taiwan. When the Chinese Civil War stopped on the mainland and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, they fled with the best of the museum exhibits as well. I am slowly adding to this gallery.
    • Oddball Stuff – A miscellany of odd signs in English (abuse and misuse of the language) as well as just plain strange sites.
    • Wargames and Eye Candy – Pictures of all my wargaming related stuff is included under here including some how-to guides, as well as general wargaming eye candy from the ancient, fantasy, medieval and naval areas in particular
    • Places Visited – These are pictures of places I have been to that I found somewhere particularly nice or interesting to photograph. At the time of creating this album I had been to over 50 countries. This album is everywhere except Mongolia.

Static Pages throughout Thomo’s Hole are listed here now as well as basic keywords.

Really, I must get around to getting a better search tool for Thomo’s Hole.

Note that I updated the links on this page to reflect new pages, corrections and the like on 23 February 2009