Today I’m taking a trip down memory lane, looking back at the most visited postings since I began this Dressing The Lines blog back in February 2010.
Here is the eclectic list of the top ten postings to date (ignoring the home page with 225,287 views), featuring everything from Western towns to pirates, samurai and the 18th century, not to mention famous paintings and even Sir Peter Jackson. Enjoy!
1. One of the nicest wargames terrains I’ve ever seen (13,433 views)
My most popular posting actually depicted someone else’s modelling skills! One of my friends had hand-built this gorgeous Western town on a 4’x4′ board. I felt this was one of the nicest terrain pieces I’d ever seen. Despite this posting dating back to 2011, it regularly appears in my list of recently visited postings, as it is still linked from many external sites and blogs.
2. My ‘Barry Lyndon’ armies (10,146 views)
When I began collecting 18th century Minden Miniatures figures, instead of replicating any real armies or making up a completely imaginary country (aka ‘imagi-nations’), I chose to recreate the regiments featured in my all-time favourite war film, Barry Lyndon. So I painted British, French and Prussian units from the movie, complete with the costume-designer’s inaccuracies! This 2010 posting tells the back-story of how I began this project.
3. Sir Peter Jackson needs Kiwi wargamers (9,116 views)
This was the posting that launched one of my most memorable experiences in the hobby of wargaming. In 2015 Sir Peter Jackson was in the process of developing a museum for the centenary of World War One. One of the planned displays was a massive diorama of the Battle of Chunuk Bair on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He commissioned the Perry twins to create five thousand 54mm Turkish and New Zealand soldiers. I was part of the project to find one hundred Kiwi wargamers to paint all these figures in a very short time-frame, and this posting was my first call for volunteers.
4. Fontenoy – my favourite battle painting (7,634 views)
I first saw this 1873 painting by Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux on the cover of Charles Grant’s 1975 book The Battle of Fontenoy. In this posting from 2010 I took a look at the many stories and details included in this, my favourite painting. To me this painting instantly reflected the feel of 18th century warfare, with its glorious colour and pageantry, its mannered politeness, and also its timeless horror.
5. A pirate’s life for me (6,707 views)
In 2010 Games Workshop Historical came out with a new set of pirate rules, Legends of the High Seas. This fired the imaginations of several of my gaming group. Here was a new period we could get into with minimal cost and painting required, and which could use a lot of our existing scenery. So we quickly ordered some sets of the rules, and a collection of 28mm pirates. This posting showed off some of my first painting efforts.
6. Fabulous cutting-out expedition diorama (6,636 views)
During a holiday to the UK in 2013 I stumbled across this amazing diorama at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. It depicts a fictional cutting-out expedition by British sailors and marines somewhere in Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. This had to be one of the nicest dioramas I’d ever seen, especially for the water effect and the captured movement of the figures and boats. Though I must say the diorama outshines my own modelling and painting skills!
7. My stereotypical Japanese terrain for ‘Ronin’ (6,629 views)
If you’re going to do samurai skirmish gaming, you might as well go the whole hog so far as stereotypical Japanese terrain is concerned. In this posting from 2013, I think I pushed all the buttons: cherry blossoms, humpbacked red footbridges, sturdy torii ornamental gates, and a pointy-roofed shrine.
8. A fantastic landscape diorama – and I do mean fantastic (5,936 views)
In 2011 I posted about an enchanting exhibit at De Efteling, a theme-park in the Netherlands. This was ‘The Diorama’, a 60 metre long showcase containing a fantastically rugged landscape with towns, villages, castles and churches, moving trains and automobiles and flowing water, based on the work of the famous Dutch artist Anton Pieck.
9. Musing and enthusing on samurai (5,319 views)
In 2013 I’d been experiencing a lack of motivation for painting or gaming. But my imagination was eventually stirred by a potential new period to game – samurai! In this posting I was still in that euphoric state whenever you start a new period, when you haven’t yet purchased anything, but are happily day-dreaming about which figures and terrain to buy.
10. Amazing medieval figures: Bruegelburg (5,083 views)
Back in 2011 this range of figures caught my eye. Whilst I’m not into wargaming the medieval period at all, the 16th century Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel is one of my favourite artists. I loved the way these miniatures were so much like Bruegel’s ‘earthy, unsentimental but vivid depiction of the rituals of village life—unique windows on a vanished folk culture …’