Sunday, 20 January 2019

Writing, talking, and re-basing

I seem to have been rather busy this week, and have spent my time writing, talking, and re-basing figures.

On the writing front, I've been ploughing on with the second volume of MASTERS AT WAR, and have written about fifty percent of the book so far. With a book like this, doing thorough research beforehand means that the actual process of writing the text is relatively easy if time consuming. Once that is done, finding suitable illustrations that will help to flesh out the text is the next task ... and when that is over, it has to be proof read. With luck the book will be finished by the end of February and published so afterwards.

The period after Christmas is always one when I get an upsurge in requests by Masonic Lodges for speakers, and part of my duties as Hertfordshire's Provincial Grand Orator* is to co-ordinate and fulfil those requests. Luckily, I have a team of volunteers who help by delivering a range of talks that they have written, but I usually end up doing about half of them myself. On Tuesday this week I was in St Albans talking about Rabbie Burns (who was a Freemason, and whose body of work contains quite a few Masonic verses) and next week I will be in Cheshunt doing a talk about the origin of certain aspects of Holy Royal Arch masonry. Before delivering a talk, I go through it and make sure that any additional research I have done is added and the whole thing reads well.

As a break from all this I have been re-basing some of my 20mm-scale figures. Most of them were on individual square plywood bases, and I decided to re-base them on round metal bases. (The new bases are one pence pieces. These are made of copper-coated steel and are cheaper to use than buying steel washers of the same size. Being steel, they easily will attach themselves to the magnetic sheets I use to line my figure storage boxes.)

It is not too difficult to remove the old plywood bases. I stand the figures upright in a plastic storage tray that has about 2cm of water in it, and leave them for 24 to 48 hours. The water slowly seeps into the wood, which can then be carefully removed from the base of the figure by twisting the two opposite sides of the base in different directions. The figure usually pops off the base quite easily, and can then be cleaned up and dried before it is stuck on its new metal base. I have been doing them in batches of about a dozen figures at a time, and now have approximately eighty ready to be renovated and varnished before their new bases are painted green to match the Hexon II terrain and felt cloths I will be using them on.

*The abbreviation of my Masonic rank is ProvGOrat. My wife thinks that this is quite hilarious ... and I must admit that I can see her point.


  1. Excellent, Bob! I now have another fictitious name for an East European General!

    Regards, Chris.

    p.s The rules arrived safely, thanks.

    1. Chris Kemp,

      I must admit that before you pointed it out, I'd never considered Provgorat as sounding Russian!

      All the best,


      PS. I hope that you enjoy the book.


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