Tuesday 1 December 2009

Minefields, Pillboxes ... and Gary: Tank Commander?

Yesterday was far too hectic for a man of my advanced years, and I ended up too tired to even put fingertip to keyboard to write my blog. This evening looked like it was going to be just as busy, but I finally managed to grab a few minutes to write my first blog entry for December.

This morning, before going to work, I actually constructed some minefields for my forthcoming play-test. 'Constructed' is probably making the process sound far more impressive than it actually was; what I did was cut out some pieces light green felt to size and cover them with a regular pattern of black dots!

I have used this technique before to indicate minefields, and in my opinion it works quite well. They are simple to place on the tabletop battlefield and are easily recognise as minefields.

I also needed some pillboxes, and this time I had a brainwave ... well I thought that it was a brainwave. Some time last year (I think it was in the run-up to last Christmas) my wife and I bought some small cardboard boxes in Hobbycraft to use to pack some small presents. I remembered that there were some hexagonal boxes in the same range, and whilst driving to work I took a small diversion to the local branch of Hobbycraft and bought three small hexagonal trinket boxes.

Now that I have seen them on the battlefield I think that they look just like the concrete pillboxes that were built all over the UK during the early years of World War II. They don't even need painting, and at the princely sum of 89p each they are ideal for my needs.

Finally, has anyone else seen the new sitcom about the British Army called GARY: TANK COMMANDER? I found it purely by accident on the BBC iPlayer ... and I enjoyed it.

Now I cannot remember many military-based British comedies except THE ARMY GAME (1957-61), DAD'S ARMY in the (1968-77), and GET SOME IN (1975-78). My impression is that all of these were rather slow-burners to begin with, but got better (and more appreciated) as they progressed. Perhaps GARY: TANK COMMANDER will be the same. I don't know ... but I will try to see each episode of this series as they come out.

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