Tuesday 29 November 2011

Card Models New 2 Storey Cottage

I want to point out this new cottage by Tony at Card Models. It makes a perfect addition to his free standing two up, two downs to create a village or small market town.

You can also remove the top floor to make a single storey but and ben cottage, typical of country areas in Scotland etc. Just £2.50 each.

Tony also has some new town houses. A set of four for £4.99. Once again providing a cost effective means of building an urban table.


Sunday 27 November 2011

Streets of London

I came across Road Scene on eBay. They offer a range of vinyl road sections orientated towards the model railway layout hobby, but equally useful for us.

The road sections come in a choice of town black or 'country' grey and are available in a range of sizes from 46mm (N gauge), 66mm (HO) and 76mm (OO). Here is a multi-pack of products, most of which can be bought individually and includes 2x 1m lengths of road.

In my view, 76mm is best for main roads, main streets in a city, dual carriageways etc as an Airfix Land Rover is 12mm wide and a Britannia FV432 is 35mm. The 66m wide road section (which matches Noch) is just a bit nip and tuck though it can be useful for side roads and narrower country roads .

How do they stack up against Scale Scenes downloadable pdf print yerself roads? Well, more expensive obviously, the pack above comes in at around £27, whereas the Scale Scenes pdf is £3.99 (plus your ink, card and or paper).  They are also a bit clean and don't have that used tarmac look of the Scale Scenes roads that you can see in Sapper Joe's photos. However, for durability and low fuss, they may be what you are looking for.

The working day has rolled over into my evenings and even this week's game got put on hold.
And on the positive side...... loads of new buildings from Tony for me to build. Also inspired to start on the small stash of Metcalfe bits I'd built up for my 'Manor' before Tony came on the scene. Half of the Metcalfe to be turned into burnt out homes and shops to add a little Winter of '79 urban meltdown colour when required. So my focus this week will be on my urban terrain.

On a related note, my Winter of Discontent inspired piles of rubbish sacks are coming along slowly. Just about got the scale right now - first dozen sacks were far too big. I've decided to take the clay into the office to work on the sacks at lunchtime so I can actually feel like I've achieved something in the day. I'll photograph the results and put them up on the blog sometime during the week ahead.


Friday 25 November 2011

Posh Pads Up West


"It can be a hard life on the mean streets. But a boy can make good. Go up west. Get a pad. Buy class."

Maybe the revolution starts here or spills over into middle England.

Everything you see here for £20 from Card Models.

A great way to end this week.


Tuesday 22 November 2011

The Lord Nelson

"So I says like, Harry, you gotta get yerself a premises. An' he does. Four doors down from the cop shop. I mean? Who is gonna have a drink and flash a bit of pony on the odd flutter in their drinkin' hole"

 I need a corner pub. Tony delivers and to u guv...just £2.99. For more details and further pics, check out Card Models here.


Monday 21 November 2011


If you build it......some bugger will come along and smash yer face in! Only yesterday I was saying "had to think about rioters" and bam! Time of Discontent kicks in the front door of Winter of 79 with a new range of 1/76 riot figures and much more promised in the pipeline.

Back in 2010 the talented "Whiff Waff" AKA Adam Gayford produced a stunning Riot Cop which he showed on the Lead Adventure Forum.

I'm hoping this guy and his plexi-shield colleagues will be reading the riot act to the rioters (shown above) on my Manor and new urban decay streets come 2012.

Whilst not strictly 1979 or early eighties in appearance, choice currently is very limited and you can't say we haven't asked. So these Time of Discontent minis can only be a positive compromise. You know, depending on the weapon choices they're sculpted with, those riot cops may well find themselves in the Alcovian or Trebizon Polizi.


Sunday 20 November 2011


I got to enjoy half an hour of absolute peace and quiet to myself this morning before the household started moving round. Bliss!

This was... fanfare of bugles.... my first full week back at work since March! Meant going through the tiredness barrier again, but gratefully reached a tipping point early in the week where I found myself with spare energy when I got home in the evenings. It did eventually catch up with me by the time I was on the train home on Friday, following some pretty intense days with delivering a proposal for introducing immersive technology, brainstorming and giving advice to circles outwith my nominal remit. So yesterday was a lazy day.

Visited the clinic for a checkup on Tuesday and glad to say they are happy with my progress. The steroid based meds steadily reducing inflammation in my brain. Whilst I'm increasingly able to think more clearly, I still have memory issues. I found that I can burst with ideas and process a lot of information but it has a finite 'limit' which if exceeded results in more short term memory loss.

Since my last SITREP, I won an auction on eBay for a couple of squads of OOP Liberation Minis Israelis. Came in at just under the bare metal price. Now these Israelis, mostly from the old ISR4 pack are ideal as organised and uniformed Winter of 79 militia - Para lids, SLRs, GPMG and largely wearing light kit. Excellent as Free Taffs or Scottish Nationialists, especially if mixed with the new Urban Meltdown packs.

The 'webbing' is vaguely similar to 58 pattern and only really needs kidney pouches to make it have a typically British look, but to be honest, the return on any effort invested in sculpting them is minimal. So let's not bother. Hardest part is going to be scrubbing the paint off the minis to start again. Maff thought I should just give them a couple of washes and say they are in boiler suits to distinguish them from the DPM masses. I'll give it a go but not convinced at this time. But I'm sure muddying the bases would also tone them down.

In the meantime, I have 20 fun Urban Decay buildings from Tony to complete. Just to remind you, this is what they look like.

Tony had such a positive response from Winter of '79 followers, including enquiries from Australia, Hong Kong and Denmark that he has started his own Card Models website to promote and sell his models

Coupled with Rolf's new Urban Meltdown Brits with SLRs, the Urban Decay range allows Winter of 79 to really put the wellie down in 2012!

I also picked up some Falklands era SAS from Mark at CP Models for Free Taff special forces and other sneaky beaky types. They really are beautiful figures. 

The figures second and third from left - looking at watch and reading map respectively, are destined to be my new Free Taff/Scot commanders. Who knows, I may even use these CP Models' SAS as the Duke of Fife's personal army or heavily armed 'survivalists'. The guy 2nd from right with the M203 is really nice and a good candidate for my 'personal' figure in Winter of 79 games.

Question is whether to add Bergen's or not to the gun bunnies? Of course, I could always save them for a couple of Rolf's Urban Meltdown figs or ex-Hotspur SAS/SBS.

I read elsewhere this week that Shaun at S&S Models, one of the gentlemen of the hobby, has been seriously unwell recently. Really sorry to hear that mate. Maff and I, and I'm sure all our followers, wish you a very speedy return to health.

Looking to the week ahead.... will be picking up several packs of Rolf's Urban Meltdown figures, plus Land Rover crews and maybe another SAXON APC. Finishing Tony's Urban Decay buildings I'll be taking stock at what's needed to complete my urban setup. This will include street furniture such as street lighting, road signs and those rubbish piles that characterised Britain's streets during the 'Winter of Discontent', even if it means making tons of 20mm bin bags out of DAS clay. Will also have to start thinking about rioters and urban yoof!


Friday 18 November 2011

NEW Urban Meltdown British with SLRs

Rolf's Urban Meltdown British with SLRs are finally here! Rolf describes this as a starter pack with 11 civilians wielding SLRs and one with Bren. Just perfect to crowd our new Urban Decay streets. Here are some of the greens:

 Rolf will be taking packs of them along to Reading this Saturday and Sunday. Pack code is URBMELTSLR. And don't forget URBMELTSUP with Sterlings and GPMGs which complements the new pack.

Let me tell you that I'm grinning from ear to ear! A great end to this week and it's been pretty good so far! Just what Maff and I have been waiting for. These miniatutes are really going to advance our gaming of the political turmoil in the UK to the next level!

So drop by the RH Models/ Liberation Miniatures stand at Warfare and say "Hi" to Rolf  from us here at Winter of 79!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Agony in Llanover: After Action Report

"Griffin One, Griffin One. This is Blue Twelve. Mr Cram is dazed. We are on the touchline. Fly Forwards required urgently!" 

"Repeat! This is Blue Twelve. We are on the touchline. Fly Forwards required urgently!" 
 The final moments of Llanovers agony. 
The centre of the village is precariously in government hands

 "This picturesque Monmouthshire village has escaped the tide of war since 1647 but last night felt the full force of the Emergency Government's attempts to quell the growing fires of nationalist opposition in Wales. All morning, army and civilian ambulances have been ferrying the wounded to field hospitals following a second night of bloodshed".

 "One soldier told me, "They popped up everywhere. It was a nightmare, I lost all me mates. Twelve platoon is gone!"  And the surviving Corporal of the Wessex Rangers platoon at the centre of the action said "If they fight like this for one village. What the hell is it going to be like in the cities!" 

Butch and Sundance, Free Taff Style!
Have Bren Gun Will Travel

This evening's game represented night two in Llanover. Night one is still to be blogged as the pics are stuck on my smart phone just now. The government forces have got a platoon over the coo' bridge in the dark before it was blown. With no way back they assaulted the village with gusto! Maff's small number of Free Taff volunteers and Territorials held the line magnificently. When I told him a reserve was available - he fully expected a platoon of Royals - only to find 3 miners in windcheaters and donkey jackets armed with SLRs.

'Butch and Sundance' took up position in Mrs Miggins' front garden and held back greatly superior numbers. When the 'Guvvies' got close enough to grenade, it was all over. 'Butch' was taken out by splinters forcing 'Sundance' to make for the church yard and find himself last taff standing.

The action was intense right across the table (I'd removed the 'dead' figures from the road closest to the camera, before I took the top picture). An entire section wiped out and the platoon Charlie G team skulking off table. But it didn't come without cost and a foray from Taffs in the manse was met with deadly fire.

By the end of the evening, the government had managed to ensconce Mr Cram and his sparks, a corporal two riflemen and two GPMG teams in the Church. The rest of the platoon lay dead. Three miners held the house behind Mrs Miggin's (top left) - shooting at anyone exposing themselves in the light of the flames from the burning Land Rover. Sundance had melted into the darkness and two more volunteers were left in the Manse. But the main defence (off table) had been flanked and effectively broken. The road to Abergavenny is open.

 The Game

The most demanding game to date in many ways and 50 minutes after the first round, we decided it was time to quit. The Taffs didn't have enough men left to retake the church and the sound of battle would have told the guys holding the southern perimeter that their line had been breached and it was time to head for the showers. A bittersweet victory. 12 Platoon was down to just 9 men at the end of the battle.

The 'Guvvies' were old style Platoon 20. I've grown fond of them in a very Basic Battle Skills kind of way.

The Free Taffs were a mix of ex-Hotspur for the volunteers and RH Models Brits for the Territorials. No prizes for guessing what rules...Cold War: 1983.


Tuesday 15 November 2011

St.Scargill Day

"Our fathers and our grand fathers shed their blood to guarantee our freedom. In return they were promised a land fit for heroes. We now live, and if we do nothing, our children will grow up.... not in a land fit for heroes, but in a land run by and run for the benefit of the bosses and the bankers.

 Crowd: "Rayyyyyy......................"

"Look around you brothers. Look to the man next to you. The man behind you. The man inside you...... each one of you a warrior for the working day. Fighting day in, day out, to put food on the table, clothes on your children's backs".

Crowd: "Rayyyyyy......................"

"If we do nothing.......If we slink back to the comfort of our homes, we will become slaves. And we will deserve nothing less. Today, our comrades and brothers in Wales are fighting for their freedom. For their lives. The day has come brothers, either to surrender. Surrender.the security for our childrens' future...or to STAND AND FIGHT!"



Monday 14 November 2011

The Scottish Play

"A WHAT George?"

"A Celtic Alliance. It's as clear as day. The do down in Borchester confirms that the IRA are fermenting rogue elements in Cornwall, the Free Taffs obviously and Scots, to join together in a popular armed uprising against the government.

I daresay it could well sweep up every paddy and catholic community in the UK. At the very least it would be a very big pond to hunt the ring leaders....."

15 hours later, behind The Carmichael

"My orders?"

"Get a team together Terry. Only the best. Contractors if you have to. This meeting in Glasgow cannot go ahead. Smash your way in, break some legs, just bring me answers.

The orders tell you to lift the players and hand them over to the civilian powers....You know what to do".


"Melhuish. You knew him in Two Two didn't you? He commands a new troop and they need a blooding. Work with him and at least leave him to think he's in command".

"I'd prefer my lads sir."

"Your recce boys are a bit gung-ho for this. Can't have a bloodbath on Buchanan Street. There's an old firm game fixed to be on. Use it".


Saturday 12 November 2011

New Urban Decay Range

Ideal for riots, robberies, revolution, post bomb, Dalek invasion and Zombie outbreaks! Tony has been hard at work creating new easy to assemble, card kit buildings for us at Winter of 79.

He is just finishing 3 more three storey and 2 more two storey for a total of 10 unique buildings for your urban layout. These have been designed to give the 20mm C20th gamers a no fuss, easy to construct and low cost means of creating inner city British street scenes.

The prices for the URBAN DECAY RANGE are: £10+ £2 p&p for a set of 5,or £20 for the 10, post free in the UK. They will not appear on eBay until after Christmas, but will be available from this week to Followers of Winter of 79. If you would like to order the URBAN DECAY sets, contact Tony directly at the link below.

Tony will send out your orders ASAP, usually within the same week, but this will of course depend on demand.I've received everything I've ordered so far with just a vfew days turn around. If you live overseas Tony will do his best to accomodate you with

I think these are fun and unlike say Superquick or Metcalfe 'vanilla' urban images, the URBAN DECAY range captures just the right urban gritty feel. Looking at the picture above, there's loads of potential from a back drop for the Sweeney to lift some Geezers, a suspect snatch by security forces, to a fully fledged running street battle between government troops and urban revolutionaries.

With this in mind, Rolf informs me that he is aiming to mould the first pack of 20mm Urban Terror, Britain in the Meltdown civilians armed with SLR (URBMELT SLR1) later this week. It goes without saying they will compliment the URBAN DECAY buildings and vice versa. 

Of course you can mix and match with Tony's existing buildings mentioned in a previous post to create a unique and versatile tabletop setup. 

Well done Tony! Thank you for your energy, enthusiasm and making these possible. 


News At Ten:

Military operations have begun on the Welsh border this evening. The Emergency Government have made an appeal to the nation to remain calm.

Troops belonging to the Wessex Rangers, 5 Para and 8th and 9th Field Forces are according to official sources, mopping up pockets of rogue army units assisting a small number of civilian insurgents claiming to be part of a Free Wales Army.

A government spokesman has announced that the operation is limited to Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, South Wales and is being directed against known occupied positions. The civil population will remain safe as long as it does not interfere with the actions of the legitimate forces of the Crown.

Gunfire can be heard by Abergavenny Hospital Radio and the first casualties of the battle have started arriving. Evan Daly, a presenter at the station gave us this eyewitness report.
"From our vantage point on the 3rd floor of the hospital, we could see troops and tanks massing on the other side of the A40. Around half past eight this evening the sound of large calibre could be heard from the south and then the first casualties came in by ambulance, private cars and shop vans. It appears the fighting is centred on the village of Llanover. A territorial army volunteer in the Free Wales Army told me they came at them with tanks, were beaten back and came on again.
Businesses and householders in Abergavenny are boarding their premises. I can see barricades are being erected and armed men are on the street building sand bagged positions on street corners". 

We will have an in depth report in the lunchtime news tomorrow.


Friday 11 November 2011



A spokesman for the Emergency Government has announced that military operations have begun aimed at restoring legitimate government in Wales.

Abergavenny in South Wales is effectively under a state of siege and the sound of artillery can be heard by Abergavenny Hospital Radio.

More on News At Ten.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

....The Window To Watch

How do you like your model shops? In business with shiny goods in the windows? Closed for business and boarded up? Burnt out, windows caved in and roof open to the sky?

What do YOU think? Reason I ask, is that Tony (Tonyatthewillows) is prepared to make some buildings specially for us. This is your opportunity to create a boarded shopping arcade or a destroyed shopping centre that has borne the brunt of the economic decline, political and social upheaval in Winter of '79.

Leave your comments and thoughts below.


Sunday 6 November 2011


OK, I admit, I was hoping to have got a lot more done this week, especially on the Winter of '79 front. But I needed the mental downtime more than I realised and we as a couple needed to spend quality time together, as this week was the first opportunity we've had since I've regained my health.

I cleared out my study so that it's now focussed on my main interests going forward and everything is to reach. I've created a spare shelf for Tony's (Tonyatthewillows) OO gauge buildings, so I have somewhere to put them as I make them up and add to the collection. My workbench and gaming table can now be truly left in situ, allowing me to pick things up again at a moments notice.

I'm still experiencing memory issues. It can be frustrating because things just fall into a black hole. With everything in the study now 'in the shop window' so to speak, I'm less likely to forget that I was going to paint this or blog whatever.

By the way, during the course of this week Tony has added a Fish and Chip shop, Chinese Take Away, Indian Take Away, Fire Station and a Police Station to his collection of card kit buildings for sale.

Heather liked Tonys buildings so much, she bought me a Corgi 1:76 Emergency Vehicles set when she was in town, for our Winter of '79 inspired GEEZERS games.

Maff approached me with the idea that we should split responsibility for running our weekly games set in Crisis in Alcovia and Winter of '79. With Maff taking on Alcovia. I'm in DPM heaven with Winter of '79 so the decision suits me to the ground.

This coming week at work I'll be advertising for new team members and spending a couple of days working with my team to develop the plan for the months ahead, plus then write the obligatory reports and appendices. Whilst I expect to be tired when I get home, I think immersing myself with Winter of '79 will encourage me to switch off from work.

eBay increasingly does my head in. Auctions that last 9 days, despite the fact that everyone piles in during the last 5 minutes and the seller wants payment withing 3 seconds of purchase. Anyhoo' searching for a 'cheap' Harrier GR3 kit I came across this made and painted GR1/2 beauty.

 eBay win: 1/72 Harrier

Mine for a fiver.... Well, it just screams Winter of '79, Free Taff Air Force, doesn't it. And on that note with Merlin engines and Men of Harlech, the Taff version of the Ride of the Valkyries, ringing in my ears....we'll pick up the fight for Llanover this week, uncover the Celtic Alliance, and hear Arthur Scargill's stirring speech urging the Yorkshire miners to resist the right wing military oppression of the Emergency Government.


Thursday 3 November 2011

Sea Harrier Ahoy!

Added a Sea Harrier to my Winter of '79 armoury!


Tomorrows War

Tomorrow's War arrived in the post yesterday. You bastard Shawn, tempting me back into 15mm Sci Fi like this!

It's a beautiful publication and something really special I am proud to have contributed to and unlike many rules big glossy rules at this price, Tom.War is content, content, content.

For me, they are what Traveller's miniature combat rules should have been,  could have been, and fulfill a vision begun back in Sixth Form, in that winter of '79.

If you have a 30 year gaming journey to complete or want to start your own now, there's a review of Tomorrows War on Dropship Horizon [click here].


Tuesday 1 November 2011

Cardstock Bombed Houses

Tony has brought worked over the weekend to bring out some OO gauge 'bombed' houses for us here at Winter of 79.  Of course they are just as suitable for Very British Civil War, Operation Seelowe and any C20th/C21st apocalyptic scenario you care can think of.

Ruined House from ebay seller tonyatthewillows
£2.50, post free in the UK

A pair of 'Bombed' Houses from ebay seller tonyatthewillows
£2.99, post free in the UK

These models are NOT downloads, but pre-printed card models to assemble yourself. They offer an inexpensive alternative for creating C20th+ urban tabletops. Check out my previous post to get a flavour of the other urban buildings Tony has to offer or go straight to Tonyatthewillows on eBay. You can also contact Tony directly at the link below.

Our thanks and kudos go to Tony. Well done mate.