Sunday, 24 July 2011


After a short delay we present to the world the results of our recent labours, namely a great big wooden siege tower from the medieval era. I have been painting and converting some of the Replicant figures, archers and men-at-arms from their Battle of Lewes range, as shown in close-up in the fourth photo. The slightly altered original figure is on the right, the second chap uses the legs of the original, a metal head from Irregular Miniatures, all joined together by the body (drastically built up with greenstuff of a Marx AWI Continental.

The star of this however, is the tower shown in the second photo with a 1:32 figure for scale, the first picture is a rear view showing the top manned by archers and the third pic has the ramp down and a crowd of ruffians charging across into, well, mid air and death actually.

The construction of this beast was comparatively straightforward with a timber frame clad with coffee stirrers liberated from a well known high street coffee chain. The wooded wheels were cheaply acquired vie ebay. The only problem we encountered was when the thing was finally built, it proved top heavy so we had to glue metal weights into the bas area to balance things out. Maths and physics were never my strong point, what matter to us is that the thing moves and operates pretty much as it would have done a few hundred years back. So raise up your drawbridge and man the walls the Kemp Siege Machine approacheth!

Cheers from Eric and Jonny Kemp

Sunday, 8 May 2011

What only a week since the last blog, has this man gone mad? Probably!

I went to the Plastic Warrior Show at Richmond (UK) yesterday, helped out a bit with the setting up and taking down of tables. HELMET had a stall, manned by our boy - Jonny- while the lovely Mrs Kemp sold the entry tickets and was generally helpful to the paying public. Steve Weston had a number of new items including test shots of British Camel Corps of around 1885 from Armies in Plastic, and a new set of ACW Union soldiers (ACW) sorry didn't get the makers' name, but some of them looked sort of familiar.... Peter Cole of Replicants was also on hand with a new set of medieval foot soldiers from his Battle of Lewes project and four British Infantry from the Battle of Culloden, I helped a bit with the research for these, some of whom - spooky section coming n0w - are moulded with an additional grenadier head on the base to allow for head swaps, great stuff. There was also the usual selection of traders selling old and new (ish) plastics including Don Ducotte from Florida with his innovative "swappables".

My good friend Nick came along with his wife, he is not a collector but he had seen the room where I paint and convert and have all my books and stuff, his verdict on that visit was that there were "elements of insanity here" and having seen the mass ranks of traders and collectors yesterday I feel that impression was confirmed and multiplied. It's sometimes interesting to get the observations of a complete outsider on how the hobby is perceived, not in a negative way but from a perspective that gives insight and might help in looking at what attracts newcomers to the hobby and perhaps importantly, what turns them off and prevents their becoming collectors, any thoughts?

A couple of pictures above, first two are my attempt to overcome the lack of Napoleonic line infantry, a long conversion project which inevitably means that someone (Hat has some in the pipeline I think) will bring some out soon. Most manufacturers are represented here they all have been given HELMET heads. The biggest problem was in cutting away a crossbelt on most figures and adding the bayonet to the remaining belt that the French fusiliers used, uniquely I think, throughout this period. The jackets themselves ended up as a sort of hybrid that I call "not quite the 1812 regulations", remember they are only toys.

The others photos are an experiment in producing a French Dromedary Corps Camelrider from Napoleon's Campaign in Egypt dated around 1800. The man is mainly HELMET with a Rose metal head and the beast if an old zoo model from Britains bought very cheaply on Ebay. All the saddle and equipment, which hides the fact that the camel is in fact a bactrian, is modelled in greenstuff. I'd like to do a few of these and have a skirmish game with mounted Mamelukes time and everything else permitting.

That's all, comments, queries and insults welcome.



Sunday, 1 May 2011

I really don't know what to say, it is well over a year since the last posting, if anyone wants to know the reasons for the lack of activity, and want to hear some hard luck stories, please contact me off-blog. In the meantime I have finally completed a project begun sometime in 2009, the end result can be seen in the photos above, a British limber team of around 1812.

I had previously finished the two drivers and their horses and the two other horses were converted but not painted. The men are simple constructs from HELMET spares and the horses are old Britains, two with new Lone Star heads. The Harness (tack?) was made from gift wrapping tape, miliput and a lot of foul language. The limber - not at all accurate but good enough for a country boy, is an adapted Imex ACW piece; the shafts are from steam-bent bamboo and there are some additions to the box from red wine bottle foil painted black.

The gun is from A Call to Arms.

I drilled two hooves on each horse and pinned and glued these two animals at a time to the plastic card base. The linking harness is lengths of picture frame wire with the end loops from thinner copper wire, these were super glued to metal pegs driven into each horse at the conversation stage. The wheel pair was completed and ground work for them and the limber before the lead pair were fixed. The whole assembly phase took about 4 hours and nearly drove me mad..................

The base is just over 12 inches long for oldies like me and around 310 mm for the younger ones. I read that at Waterloo the horse artillery 9pdr teams had eight horses, making a team of four is big and complex enough.

We took plenty of photos this morning so should be posting again soon........fat hope.

All the best,