Update….painting, Slingshot and The Fort

Having gone slightly negative in my Neutral credits I figure I’ve got ’til the end of the month to get back positive again! I’ve made a slow start on the first 12 of my RSMs now that I’m happy with the colours. Flesh is done and hopefully on to jackets tomorrow night. It’s going to be a push to get them all done for the game but I figure it should be doable. Next week is half term so I’ve got two days looking after my daughter and I should be able to send her down the road to friends for an hour and get some painting done!

This week also saw the arrival of the latest Slingshot, 274 January 2011. I’ve only had a brief look but as ever, the letters page is a good read, there is good commentary on the tournament scene, and an interesting article, Scipio’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Ilipa, by Patrick Waterson which is right up my street! Other articles (full details here ) will get read on later visits to the loo! Big change this issue though is in the style of binding. The last few years have seen a proper bound magazine with glossy cover. The glossy cover remains but the mag is now folded and stapled. This is mentioned in the Editorial and the reason seems to be cost, which I fully understand, but I think it is a move in the wrong direction. When I re-joined the SoA I was VERY impressed with the quality of Slingshot, both in content and the physical presentation. It looked professional. The stapled version loses some of that shine I think. Content is, and I’m sure will continue to be, excellent, but it just feels ‘less’ when you hold it. I hope they can reconsider and return to the old binding. To be honest, upping the sub to cover it would probably not put anyone off!

And I’m also currently reading Bernard Cornwell’s The Fort. This is a novelised account of the Penobscot Expedition in Summer 1779 where a British force of fewer than one thousand Scottish infantry were sent to build a garrison in the State of Maine and the State of Massachusetts was determined to expel the British. I’ve read a lot on the AWI but mostly connected with the Southern campaigns and although I knew the event by name I had read little detail about it. I’ll not go in to the story here but I’m just over three quarters through and although I’m enjoying it, the enjoyment comes more from the subject matter than the quality of writing. I’ve read most of Cornwell’s books and have enjoyed them, but always found the style a little repetitive if you read a few one after the other (Pratchett suffers from this as well). His Arthur trilogy (Warlord) was the only set where I think he really hit the mark as a storyteller. However, The Fort seems just too formulaic. The characters make the unfortunate slide in to caricature, the marine officer and the American leaders (Lovell and Saltonstall) being the worst offenders. His portrayal of the main British officers, McLean and Moore, is much better. And I hate the ways he always finishes a section something like ‘Because the Fort wasn’t ready, the Americans were coming and it was too late’. He does this lots, and lots and it starts to grate. He also seems to repeat things way too often, as if you might forget them. It’s almost like the crap TV shows now where they spend a couple of minutes after the break telling everything that happened BEFORE the break! I just found it annoying…

It sounds a little harsh because I am enjoying it. It has made me want to read more about the expedition and also the Minifigs Continental Marines I have primed ready to be painted as British Guards may now actually be painted as Marines! I don’t know if he has other books planned around the AWI. I hope so. But I also hope he puts a little more creativeness into the writing.

4 thoughts on “Update….painting, Slingshot and The Fort”

  1. I enjoyed The Fort, but I know what you mean – the half sentence has been a Cornwell tic for years. Great ideas , though, for all kinds of scenarios. I'd love to have some decent 25mm marine figures.


  2. Read the Fort and really like the Maclean/Wadworth and Moore characters…but yes… there are certain phrases he has that drive you up the wall…. :o)

  3. Finished the Fort, and despite my comments I really enjoyed it. The style did annoy me and it'll be a while till I read another Cornwell…

    Just started Iain M Banks' latest SF novel now. He's one of my favourite authors and the start has already grabbed me so looking forward to the rest.

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