Friday, August 07, 2015

A Pulp game, a Playmate and some very big yachts

A belated account of the superb game I played at Eric’s Shed is now on my Pulp blog.  Rather more conventional accounts are on Eric's and Alastair's blogs.  When I first started collecting Mark Copplestone’s Back of Beyond figures, many years ago, I could only dream of deploying them on the sort of truly spectacular Egyptian lost city board that Eric had constructed for the first in his The Scales of Anubis campaign.   It was a true wargaming wonder!

I managed to complete the two characters I needed for the game the weekend before.  They are (left) "Copper" Cooper (Foundry Darkest Africa figure) formerly of the King's African Rifles and (right) Professor Bevis Marx (Lead Adventures figure).  They flank my previously painted Lord John Roxton, this time acting as Granger Stewart, big game hunter (a somewhat politically insensitive appellation these days).

They were joined by my previously painted six inter-war British from Copplestone Castings, to make up my small unit of nine. 

I played the part of the British P.I.T.H. organisation, trying to gain three clues to reveal the location of the fulcrum, the first part of he lost scales. I successfully gathered the three required clues and set off to retrieve the artefact from the tomb. Right at the end of the game my parlous dice throwing (the worst I have ever had in a game and that is saying something) continued, mainly, I am convinced, because of the malign influence of Eric’s cat Sooty (really a reincarnation of the Goddess Bastet) who hexed my dice caused defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory.  The Nazis (or Germans as we are now no longer allowed to call them by Angela Merkel) stole the artefact at the last moment.  Lets hope they all melt and their heads explode when they try to activate it.  

Sooty the cat seemed to take a liking to me during the game and spent a lot of time sat up next to me on the edge of the table getting in the way and casting spells on my dice.  


I had dreams, sadly unrealised, that Sooty would magically transmute into Victoria Vetri from the Star Trek episode Assignment Earth where a black cat, Isis, reveals itself to be a (very) beautiful woman.

An uncredited Victoria Vetri (right) as the cat Isis in Star Trek episode Assignment Earth with Teri Garr, who would go on to play Richard Dreyfuss' wife in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Vetri is best known for starring in Hammer dinosaur epic When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970).  Her controversial nude scenes were cut by the American censor when the film was released in the US and later on DVD.  Fortunately for the Legatus, as a collector of cavegirl material, I managed to get an uncut DVD which was released accidentally before it was subsequently withdrawn by the distributor.


Under her early stage name Angela Dorian (chosen by her agent based on the name of the doomed liner Andrea Doria) she was Playboy Playmate of the Month for September 1967 and pulled herself into some remarkable sculptural shapes for her pictorial.  She became Playmate of the Year for 1968.

Angela Dorian as Playmate of the Year 1968

Sadly, Vetri/Dorian was arrested for shooting her boyfriend in the back during an argument five years ago.  Things got worse for her because she initially lied and claimed it was an intruder that pulled the trigger so her attempt to have the charge deemed assault with a deadly weapon failed.  Sentenced to nine years in jail for attempted murder in 2011 the seventy year old is still in prison.

Vetri in court in 2011

A nineteen year old Dorian also appeared (right) with a hoplesessly miscast Shirley Anne Field (left) in the Yul Brynner Mayan epic Kings of the Sun (1963). I well remember the climactic battle around the pyramid in this from when I first saw it on my uncle's colour TV in the sixties.

Coincidentally, the next episode of The Scales of Anubis campaign took place on an equally amazing jungle board, complete with pyramid but I missed that as we went down to Cowes for the Royal Yacht Squadron bicentenary regatta as Guy was working as a marshal for the RYS. There were some truly spectacular yachts competing in this although, initially, racing, was curtailed by the high winds. 

The classic J class yachts, which fought for the America’s Cup back in the thirties, are not allowed to get their sails up if the wind is above 25 knots due to the fact that their 152 foot masts would be at risk and it was gusting fifty on Monday. Eventually they got some racing in and it was the first time they had had a class race series at Cowes for eighty years. More Isle of Wight news (I know you can all hardly wait) including some thoughts on Carisbooke Castle soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Paint Table Saturday July 18th 2015

Well, unusually I am going to focus on just one figure this weekend.  This Lead Adventure figure will be a British archaeologist in Eric the Shed's pulp campaign opening game on Monday.  

Of course, as a (hopefully) newly painted figure he will undoubtedly die in the first turn.  I want to get his skin and clothes done today and his complex backpack and equipment done tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tour de France food on my food blog

Back to looking at some French (and Dutch and Belgain) regional fare as the Tour travels around for three weeks, on my food blog.  Stages 1 to 4 were in the Netherlands and Belgium, stages 5 to 9 in Normandy and Brittany.  There is a military connection with Normandy (no, not D-Day!).

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Paint Table Saturday July 4th


Last Saturday

Well, I did manage to get on with some base colours last weekend as you can see if you compare this with last week's shot.  Unfortunately, it is far too hot in my room to paint at present so I will have to hope it is cooler this afternoon when the sun moves around (although then you lose the light, of course).  Big artistic decision today is as to whether I paint the shirts of the 64th Foot white (quick) or an off white (slow).  I can then paint their belts plain white so they show up better against the shirts.  Of course the belts were buff and then pipe clayed white so buff might work for those too with white shirts.   Hmm!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Hot in the city...but only for men!

Yesterday at Waterloo

So, it was the hottest day in London for nearly ten years yesterday and it highlighted yet another inequality between men and women in the workplace. 

In every job I have had, it has been a requirement for men to wear suits, long sleeved shirts (my friend Bill wears short sleeved shirts to work in the summer but he is an actuary) and ties. Now, admittedly, people in my new office are not wearing ties during this hot spell but as soon as we have a meeting with external clients, inside or offsite, the tie has to go on and the jacket has to be worn. So we trudge out onto the baking streets this week to find what? Women dressed as if they are off to the beach! Now, I admit that I am now across the river from the City but hot pants and cotton vests (tanks for North Americans) as appropriate work wear? Thigh, shoulder and back revealing sun dresses? Plunging necklines? It is not only inappropriate it is, much more importantly, not fair! 

Episode 3 of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.  The first depiction of the Peninsula War on TV since Sharpe

Why can’t I wear shorts to work instead of sweltering in wool trousers? Except I would not, as shorts should not be worn by any man over the age of 25 and by no men with really hairy legs, on account of the fact it looks disgusting. As a wargamer I often look at the clothes soldiers used to have to wear in hot climates in the past and think: What on earth made their leaders think that this heavy clothing would contribute to an efficient fighting force? But a suit, shirt and tie is, in effect, the uniform of many men working in Britain. Not IT people, of course, who seem to have managed to gain an exception on the basis of being the possessors of arcane knowledge. They are like your curiously dressed wizards in your otherwise conventionally clothed fantasy army. Yet women, somehow, have managed to get an even more relaxed exception, merely by dint of being women.

Women are quite capable of wearing a suit to work, although I will even grant them an exemption from wearing a tie, which really is a ridiculous historical throwback. Interestingly, when I worked in a City law firm it was notable that the more formally dressed the woman was the more junior she was likely to be. Lady lawyers tended to wear plain skirts and blouses. If you saw a woman in a pinstripe suit (sometimes with trousers, sometimes even with a tie) she was almost certainly going to be junior support staff. But the point is, if men are expected to wear suits then women should do as well! 

Lloyd's Underwriting Room

When I worked at Lloyd’s of London, the Underwriting Room had a strict dress code of suits and ties. One summer, just after moving in to the new building in 1986, we had a particularly hot spell. The Room, at the heart of Richard Roger’s iconic building, was, to all intents, a greenhouse in design. There was a problem with the air conditioning. It got hotter and hotter. Now, of course, instantly, all the lady brokers (known as brochettes) appeared at work in tiny, wafting dolly dresses. The lacy tights (then very much de rigeur) all disappeared and we were presented with acres of bare legs. As an aside, how is it that women always know when the weather is turning hot, and adjust their clothing for work accordingly, even if the heat suddenly comes on half way through the day? The answer, of course, is that they look at the weather forecast on a daily basis. I don’t look at the weather forecast because the result makes absolutely no difference as to what I have to wear. Anyway, back at Lloyd’s a memorandum from the Chairman was circulated immediately, reporting complaints from Underwiters (all male at that time) about the abbreviated clothing and pointing out that the Room had a dress code which was, and I quote, “suits with ties for men and the equivalent, whatever that is, for women.” The Chairman was totally baffled about how to define what women should wear. It should have been clear. Suits for all. Case closed. But, no, women got away with it again. The next day a few flimsy jackets or lightweight cardigans appeared over the tiny sundresses but the bare legs and (often) low cut tops remained. At the time I wondered to my girlfriend (who also worked at Lloyd’s) why anyone would complain about underdressed women? Her answer was that it depended on the women; some of whom (like her) looked better underdressed than others. Really, though, I feel the reason was jealousy by the male underwriters. Jealousy caused by women being able to wear much more temperature appropriate clothing which happened to be business inappropriate.  Also, it is not so much the situation regarding what they wear at work that gets men frazzled so much as what they can wear to work as we struggle in 100 degree heat on the Underground, slogging along baking streets and overcrowded trains on the way home.  Having walked the one mile from my office to London Bridge station last night I found it had been closed due to a fire alarm.  I then had to walk nearly another mile to Bank Station when the temperature was still around 34 degrees (94F). Waterloo station (which has a glass roof) was appalling too but not for women in tiny shorts and tops.

The corollary of all this is, of course, that women say: “Well it’s easy for men you just have to wear a suit you don’t have to choose different outfits every day for different seasons.” Just wear a suit then! No one is forcing you to carry on having to put yourself through aesthetic agonies every morning. You do it because you want to. You can choose to wear a tiny pair of shorts, sandals, or a sundress to work. Men cannot. IT IS NOT FAIR AND IT IS SEXIST!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Paint Table Saturday 27th June

Today we have the prospect of a group of figures just at the start of the painting progress.  Exciting and depressing at the same time!

To celebrate my new job I actually bought a few figures this week, which all arrived within a day or two. So full marks to Iron Duke Miniatures (Indian Mutiny British left and centre) and Antediluvian Miniatures (adventurers front right).  I am also just starting on a trio of Lucid Eye Amazons (back right).  Other stuff that might get some attention this weekend is behind. 

Lots of ferrying family about today but hopefully some proper painting tomorrow.

Thursday, June 25, 2015