Category Archives: update

And we’re back! And why I now hate 1and1!

If you see this post then the ‘I may be gone for some time’ post should hopefully have gone and this blog should now be happily relocated to a new host.

The host relocation took a little longer than planned. I had been with 1and1 (I won’t provide a hyperlink as that would be cruel!) since I first setup my website and domains about three years ago. I chose them because the startup offers made it a cheap option. To be honest, I’ve not really had any major problems. A few billing queries. A hassle communicating with the call centers and actually making myself understood. Earlier this year Henry Hyde (Battlegames editor) recommended a move to TSOHost having had some ‘issues’ with 1and1. I looked at the possibility of a move myself in March but really had too much going on to sort it out. Then this week I decided it was time.

I really want to get my development skills back up to speed as 1st November sees my job getting ‘outsourced’ and although there is a lot of promise there, there is also a lot of risk and uncertainty, so I want to be up to speed if I need to start looking for a job. I have a few ideas for various projects connected to this blog and I want to expand the content and format. But to do that I also need more hosting options and TSOHost could provide that. So on Wednesday night I opened an account with them.

I had originally intended to keep the domains with 1and1 until they were up for renewal but it transpired that because my blog is set up as a subdomain it would not be straightforward to test it prior to switching over so I just decided to move the domains as well. In the afternoon I moved over my belisarius.co.uk domain. No problems. Within a couple of hours all requests were hitting the new location. Then I moved the other two domains. My main one belisarius.org.uk holds my blog and all the family email accounts. The other the website and blog for Tyneside Wargames Club.

The transfer process is quite straightforward. Start the process with TSOHost so they know it is coming. Then login to the control panel at 1and1 and cancel the domain with them and specify where it is going. This is transferring the Registrar, the person who manages the domain. And it is important you specify ‘To new provider’ otherwise the domain returns to Nominet and effectively drops off the Internet! Both the domains were set to transfer this way and the process seemed to be going ahead. It was late. I knew it would take a few hours for the DNS changes to spread out, so I left it overnight. Come morning all my domains had disappeared from 1and1 but only the original belisarius.co.uk one was still showing active. After talking to TSO they said the domain ‘tags’ were still with 1and1. I spoke to 1and1. They said they no longer had the domains so there was nothing they could do… In the end I had to go to Nominet (who administer the domains and who owns them) and pay £12 to change the tag to my new host. It has taken a full day to finally get things sorted as I had a mis-configured .htaccess file and the DNS changes took longer than expected to filter through.

Throughout the process TSO support were quick to respond and very helpful. I cannot praise them highly enough and I’m looking forward to a long association with them.

1and1 on the other hand have been dismissive and evasive. I wanted the £12 back. It was a charge directly caused by their mistake and although only a small amount I don’t see why I should have had to pay it. More importantly, while the domain was offline I had NO emails coming through to that domain. So I have no idea if over a c.12 hour period I lost anything important? But 1and1s line is that they didn’t make the charge so they cannot refund it. They may not have made it but they were responsible. Despite my stating I would be terminating my contracts with them the only ‘compensation’ they offered was a free month on my contract!

I’m not sure where I can really take this. I think Small Claims may be an option but I don’t think they really care and part of me wonders if it is worth the hassle. But if you Google ‘1and1 complaint’ you will see whole websites devoted to the bad experiences people have had with this company. They are a BIG company and advertise widely and I’m sure most of their customers have no issues. But big companies have two ways to deal with small customers problems. They can say ‘We are big, sod off, we don’t care’ or they can say ‘We are big, it costs us little to sort your problems out’. 1and1 seem to adopt the former approach.

So there you go. If you are a wargamer and you’ve got this far all I can say is either ‘Well done’ or ‘WAKE UP! 🙂

So what does this have to do with wargaming? Well, it now means I can expand the blog/site. I’m going to be restarting my Wargaming Neutral Project and providing a more ‘graphic’ representation of that and my Painting Master Plans. I’ll also be trying to get more pictures of my modern microarmour up and trying to make available pics of as many makes/models as possible so people can see what they look like.

And generally try and be more gaming/blog/development active…. kids permitting…

Sorry for this ‘Slight Diversion’. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Andy

 

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Some new books and a shout out…

Been watching a few things on the evil ‘bay recently and picked up a few books – because I just don’t have enough! First up

Main Battle and Light Tanks – Marsh Gelbart – Brassey’s Modern Military

I’ve seen this book around for a while and was waiting to get it at a good price. So £4.99 with free shipping did it for me. I appreciate it probably duplicates a lot of info I already have but there is still some useful stuff on nations I’m not concentrating on at the moment. And in a similar vein and price was:

ALLIED BATTLE TANKS - Yves Debay
ALLIED BATTLE TANKS – Yves Debay

The next two were a couple of old Osprey books by Zaloga:

Modern Soviet Combat Tanks by Steven J. Zaloga
Modern Soviet Combat Tanks by Steven J. Zaloga
Armour of the Middle East by Steven J. Zaloga
Armour of the Middle East by Steven J. Zaloga

Although old books with some of the info outdated (especially the Soviet book) they do provide the usual nice pictures and ideas for painting. The guy selling these was based in Newcastle so had agreed to refund the postage if we arranged to meet and hand over the books. We finally met up and rather than faff with a refund he brought along a couple of books of interest.

The Hidden War by Artyom Borovik
The Hidden War by Artyom Borovik
Ambush Alley by Tim Pritchard
Ambush Alley by Tim Pritchard

Hidden War I had already had recommended as a follow up read to my current Afgantsy and had actually been looking for a copy in town earlier that day! Ambish Alley I’ve heard of but never read. I hope it doesn’t trigger a new project!

And finally, while in town that day I called at the book stall in Grainger Market and found a copy of:

The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan

Again, a recommended book on the Russians in Afghanistan and a bargain at £5. I hope I can eventually find his other books on the war at a similar price…

This does make me think I should maybe base up some Soviets on more arid bases!

The Blog with No Name

I’ve known Ian Willey for a couple of years and first met him at the Heroes ASL Tournament in Blackpool where he was a pleasure to play (and lose to!). It was only later that I discovered he was a figure gamer as well. His ASL blog is worth following as well (Wall Advantage) although I don’t seem to get time to play that any more. Recent health issues have allowed more time to be spent on his gaming (though I’m sure he’d rather be shot of the health issues!) and his blog is prolific, interesting and very active. He has run a number of giveaways at different stages in the blogs lifetime and having just hit 100 followers has a new competition running. So pop over, Follow, enter the giveaway and enjoy the blog. And read through the lots of good content there!

 

 

 

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WIP – 15mm TFL Dux – how to base?

I have finally painted up some of the Splintered Light Miniatures 15mm Romano-British (bought in 2009 for a Dark Age project that never happened!)  for us with the new Toofatlardies Dux Britanniarium. They are nicely detailed figures. Only slightly annoying is sticking the shields on. I did glue them on first to get that metal to metal bond rather than paint to paint, which seems to have made them pretty solid.

So anyway, this post is more a basing related one – as basing is such a traumatic process for me! 🙂

A good few people seem to be basing their 28mm on 2p pieces and using the Warbases sabots. The bases are also done for 1p pieces which I assumed were for 15mm? So after raiding the kids piggy banks (it’s been a tight month!) I laid out a few coins with the figures to see how they looked:

Dux on pennies
Dux on pennies

They just look too bifg to me. The figures too spaced out? The rules group figures into sixes (or eights) and if in neat ranks are in a shieldwall formation. To me this just doesn’t look right. I know it’s only a ‘representation’ but I feel they should at least look closer together? The only other things I had lying around were some 15mm tiddlywinks I use for my 6mm FUBAR:

Dux on tiddlywinks
Dux on tiddlywinks

Which I think looks much better:

Dux on tiddlywinks
Dux on tiddlywinks

For my FUBAR I added some steel paper to the bases to give a little ‘weight’ which helped for 6mm. I think it might need something more for 15mm. And I’m not sure ALL 15mm ranges will have bases that will fit.

Anyway, open to comments and thoughts…

 

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WIP – Just a few more waffer thin T-80s!

I had planned to move onto something different for a week or two just to give myself a break  from the micro armour so I don’t burn out. But having taken delivery of the large batch of T-64s et al I was quite taken with the camo pattern on a batch T-80Us so fancied basing them up and also doing another batch of D-30s. This time mounted correctly!

The base models came nicely packaged and neatly painted with a sand based camo with darker brown and black patterns:

T-80Us

I did my usual Vallejo Sepia Wash but using the brush to lift as much as possible off the main areas so as not to darken the model too much. Then Pale Sand highlight, gel pen for markings and a mid brown for mud etc.  Usual basing.

T-80Us – new

I used the BTR-80 command vehicle to go with the tenth model for the HQ:

T-80U HQ

And here is the lot along with the D30s:

T-80Us and D-30s

The D-30s form another battery and this lot are mounted on the stands correctly. I do understand that the 120 degree mount allows all round firing but in a deployed position I think they would always choose the optimum setup:

D-30s
D-30s
D-30s

I quite enjoyed doing these – suppose I’m getting used to them! Next up are some 15mm Roman-British for Dux.

 

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WIP – Even more Soviets!

You can never have too many!

Finally finished off the basing of my T-80s and BMP-2s along with the support carriers and HQ bases for the latter, and the final HQ for the T-80s using a spare model from the recent mass of lead acquired!

BMP-2s and T-80s with HQs
The three BMP-2 battalions with HQs
BMP-2 HQ
BMP-2 HQ
BMP-2 HQ
Three battalions of T-80s. Three different models. Front row H&R. Rest are Scotia
T-80 HQ
T-80 HQ
T-80 HQ but with a BMP-2 so it could double up
All the BMP-2s are Heroics and Ros. Nice little models
The lovely little H&R T-80 ERA
You can’t beat a lot of Russian tanks!

I’m quite pleased to get this lot done. It means I can finally fill in some more red boxes on the Painting Master Plan. I still have the infantry to do for these and more artillery assets. And the T-64s. And the various river crossing units… But I think I may paint something different next as I feel I need a change to avoid burnout!

 

 

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