Thursday 28 March 2024

Creating Bacon Field the Home of the Pig Tickler Tournament

Well now that I have the miniatures for a Pig Tickler Tournament I will be needing a play field. The rules say you should go with a 60cm diameter 'oval' or 'square' area but anything really goes! Being a 'Pig Stickler' for detail I have decided to go with the 60cm diameter circle for the play field!

A period photograph of Pig Ticklers in 'the thick of it' on the hallowed grounds of Bacon Field!

Okay so first thing I made up a quarter circle template which I though I'd then trace with chalk a circle on my green felt mat but then I had a light bulb moment...I had seen while researching the Pig Tickler rules another player make some cricket sight screens presuming the game would be played on cricket ovals for his games, definitely an idea worthy of using!

I then proceeded to build two sight screens and a cricket looking scoreboard the old fashioned small ground type where the basic writing was intrinsic to the score board and panels would be hung showing players names and scores. Now for the boundary a picket fence would be the go but no matter how much I like scratch building putting together around 1.8 metres of picket fencing that needed to curve was not my idea of fun so over to eBay I went! Soon I had sourced some suitable 'fantasy toy model fencing' that would suit and an order was placed!

First up sight screens; these were easy I cut a rectangular piece of 2mm styrene plastic and scored in panel lines and then with 40 grit sandpaper scratched in a wood grain. Two simple triangular supports with bases were glued to the bottom corners and hey presto they were complete!

Then to the scoreboard; for this I used a similar construction method to my Wild West Town (see the TSOG Blog). I made up two rectangular 'boxes' one slightly larger than the other to be a base and the top one including a raised front for the oval's name. I used 2mm styrene plastic for these components. Edging for the top part was created with 0.5mm styrene plastic strips and the base was scored to give a planking look, the whole lot was sanded to again give a wood grain effect. Stencils were used as a guide to the permanent writing on the score board and the Pig Ticklers names and their scores were printed on thick white paper and then taped on, the brighter colour hopefully makes them look like added panels (not sure that works except for people who have seen such score boards before and know how the freshly painted panels stand out against the old weathered scoreboard itself). The name Bacon Field was selected by Mrs Darling from a selection of five I gave her, maybe it sounds a little more Baseball like than Cricket like (eg the famous Wrigley Field) but it flows and is very relevant to the 'sport' being played! So now the score board was ready to go!

In the meantime my picket fencing had arrived!

Lets put it all together...

Lovely set up even if I do say so myself!

Below a pair of Pig Ticklers ready for Battle!

Next Time: More on the Pig Tickler Tournament or maybe a the Russians are Coming AAR, yes I have one ready to type up!

Saturday 9 March 2024

Captain Darling & the Pig Tickler Tournament!

It is 1892 the height of the Victorian Steam Age and this story finds our hero Captain Darling in residence at his Mayfair home located just off Grosvenor Square, London…

 Pictured on a cricket oval near one of the sight screens in St James Park close to Wellington Barracks Captain Darling 'in uniform' prepares for the upcoming Pig Tickler Tournament!

It was very late on a dark and stormy night when a knock at the door of Captain Darling’s Mayfair residence roused him from his slumber! He leapt from his deep and comfortable burgundy Chesterfield, grabbed his revolver and sidled anxiously down the passageway leading from the smoking room toward the front door. As he approached the ornate portal he thought to himself it was a damn shame he let his Batman off for the day as he could still be lounging! Returning his full to the matter at hand he approached the door slowly, he paused, who would be visiting at such an hour he mused and then with some trepidation he reached out for the handle...he then froze as an envelope slipped though the mailing slot and drifted quietly downward to land softly on the lush hallway runner! Ignoring the letter Darling opened the door to find the step and sidewalk suspiciously empty! He took a second look both ways down the street and convinced no one was nearby cautiously withdrew from the front step. Back in the hallway his interest was piqued by the missive which he picked up after he gently closed the door securing its latch. He studied the letter thoroughly, the envelope was plain white in colour and bore a gold ink inscription ‘for the Attention of Captain Darling Esq.’ with a swift flash of his sword he slit the top edge of the envelope and withdrew the parchment it contained, with care he unfolded it and read the elegant gold script…

Darling me Ol’ Mugger it began and continued, Colonel Hyde-Park Commander of the Grenadier Guards Regiment requests that you represent the Unit at the annual Pig Tickling Tournament to be held on the third Sunday of August, eg in two weeks time. Our Tickling Champion has suffered a severe groin injury whilst scrumming in a game of Rugger against the Horse Guards so we are desperately in need of your skills. When considering your reply please remember your offer to assist the Regiment in anyway after the Turkish Incident in the Crimea, yours Captain Archibald, for Colonel Hyde-Park, the Grenadier Guards Regiment

Darling was taken aback, it was he who had pulled the Grenadier Guards nuts from the fire all those years before during the infamous Turkish Incident in the Crimea, still being a fierce competitor the chance to enter the exclusive and time-honoured Pick Tickler Tournament caught his attention, he fancied himself with a lance on a unicycle even though he had never attempted it before…he decided on the spot he would gird up his loins and accept the Colonel’s offer! He hurried to his writing desk to pen a reply which he would dispatch in the morning!

To be continued…

Okay on the LAF an opportunity came up to buy a set of Pig Tickler rules and a bunch of updated and extremely well painted miniatures, I thought about it and jumped at the chance! There were the rules, a PORC template (to determine the pig’s movement), 12 lance armed unicyclists, an umpire, two stockers and of course a pig! The excellent thing is I was going to buy some of these Eureka lance armed unicyclists to use in VSF games where the lances would be tipped with explosives and the unicyclists the task was to ride up to a Martian Tripod deliver the charge and then ride to safety as the detonation brought the Martian to the ground, sounds a great idea what could possibly go wrong, anyway this has saved me that purchase and the chore of painting. The other good news is the updates unicyclists include have had their lances replaced with better rigid examples and unicycles reinforced so there’ll be very durable. 

Here's what I picked up from fellow 'LAFfer' I happy...YUP!

Original of the top picture...

Next Time: Building some Pig Tickler Tournament Accessories!