Friday 29 December 2017

What's on the bench. What's to come for 2018

Well before doing the ramble of what my plans are for 2018 a quick look at the bench shows that in anticipation of the Gangs of Rome game from Footsore miniatures for once I've got ahead of my colleagues by painting some Foundry figures I've had languishing in the lead pile for a while.
These have been painted for speed, base coat, limited highlight and army painter wash.
There's another 20 or so to go but that's only a couple of paint desk sessions.

I don't intend to ramble too much but like many as the year draws to a close we have a habit of looking back and then looking forward. Indeed I looked back right to the start of the blog and found that many of the projects I've mentioned over the years never progressed to fruition.

Indeed over the last two years I have sold a significant number of my painted figures and a lot of my lead mountain. In some cases it has been to help fund my miniature business in other cases both my son and wife made me question the validity of holding onto armies that I really haven't gamed with for many years. Fond memories yes but I still have the memories, there other argument was why shouldn't i have some of the enjoyment of spending the cash on what I wanted rather than waiting for someone else to benefit when I'm gone!!!  Selling large collections rarely raises the kind of value you would if sold in small lots but receiving over £10,000 in one go offsets quite a lot of the burden of trying to dispose of figures piece by piece.

So what am I left with and what am I going to do?
Well the never ending 28mm Ancients - Greek, Successors and their enemies keeps ongoing and I doubt will ever reach a final conclusion.
Likewise my 18th century collection continues to grow in association with my business but I would like to complete the Jacobites this coming year and start an early Saxon army which I hope to release, the French and less so the British will continue to expand - I would really like to start taking the fight to other areas of the world - India, Carribean, Ameirca whi knows.
28mm WWII for Chain of Command is a slow burner
15mm Ancients - only because that's the scale played at the club!
and in the background some Dark Age bits and pieces and I've mentioned before increase use of Peter Dennis's paper armies to play games in theatres I fancy but will never paint.
More gaming in my cabin and really that's about it. There are some decisions to make re. the figure business over the next couple of years but that discussion isn't for here.
Can I wish you all the very best for the coming year and may our hobby continue to provide inspiration and enjoyment to us all

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Another little Road Trip to the past - Miniature Warfare Magazine

In 1968 when Miniature Warfare was first published I was but 11 and missed out on the first two and a bit years of its publication, I did manage to get the odd issue from volumes 3,4 and 5 but never managed to get complete sets.

Over the years I've always kept a look out for the mag but to no avail and I refuse to pay the current £6-£11 an issue currently being asked on eBay.

Out of daftness I emailed John Tunstill, who first published the magazine, and  who is still dealing in figures and asked if he had any spare copies, his reply was great he had a set of five volumes and in binders for a price that I couldn't get 6 mags on eBay.

They arrived yesterday so I'm going to do a bit of wallowing in nostalgia.

Having had a quick flick through what strikes me with the magazine compared with those of today is that apart from the production quality the articles were generally more inclusive, detailed and not promoted to selling a brand or range.

In fact it didn't take long to find the (in)famous article on 'screw' armies and at last I could read all the articles on the ACW campaign held using maps of Ireland.
(can't understand why this is upside down! sorry)
Of course the late Peter Gilder also started his 'In The Grand Manner' articles in this mag and what an inspiration they were.

Thursday 7 December 2017

Off the Bench/On the Bench

After a busy week doing non-hobby business managed to get some time in.
So finished off some 10mm AWI a Loyalist unit and three units Riflemen so I may just be about ready to play Cowpens!!

In addition I got a unit of 6mm Portuguese done for my Peninsular war ( no photo!)
And whilst on the 6mm front thought I'd take a couple of pics of a 6mm Union force I acquired not so long ago - just need a few more and some rebs

On the bench are the 28mm Scots Fusiliers, half are just about finished and the second half started.
The Gangs of Rome game from Footsore Miniatures due out in January looks interesting so I've done a quick climb through the lead mountain and found a fair few rebellious Roman civilians and Farmers etc.
Maybe it's time to watch the two seasons of Rome again :)

Sunday 3 December 2017

Going Back to My Roots

Now it may be an age thing, maybe even a nostalgia thing but whilst tidying up and sorting out i began to read through some of the older sets of rules I possessed, most are reprints in order to stop the originals falling to pieces but whilst doing so I began to realise how much I enjoyed playing them and that in many ways they were still good rules.
Ok a little more work in scenario setting etc than you get in some of the modern stuff but overall still good fun.
SO here's a teaser of some of the rules I'm going to give a run out again, 1685-1845 is for my 20mm Napoleonic, as in terms of the War of the Austrian Succession/Seven Years War there's still none better than Charles Grant's The Wargame.

I still think Charlie Wessencraft was missed and under rated. The Seven Steps to Freedom is a great read and loaded (27 I think) with scenarios. The rules are for the AWI/French Indian Wars and are updated from the original set.

So there we have it retro mode. But not in terms of figures I haven't quite succumbed to finding the original Hinton Hunt and Bill Lamming figures, that's one thing the modern day hobby has got right.

Friday 3 November 2017

Paper Soldiers

Not quite the same ring as Paper Roses by Donnie and Marie Osmond but more fun !

Some time ago on one of the forum's a discussion took place re our wargames bucket list - thos games, battles campaigns we would like to play before our time is up!

All the usuals Waterloo, Gettysburg, Belnheim, Gaugamela etc etc turned up and whilst I'm lucky enough to have ticked off quite a few on my list as you would expect there's still quite a few I would like to do.

One of these is the 1066 campaign - don't ask me why it's just one I would like to do, I've started the project twice -once in 28mm many years ago and after painting 400+ vikings with the thought of having to paint around 500 Saxon figures and the same again for the Normans I gave up and sold the Vikings.

Then about 6 years ago I had another stab this time in 10mm this time I painted the Saxons first but the same stone wall was hit and there were other projects I would rather paint.

So when Helion books started to releases their Battles in Britain books (and now Battles in America) I thought third time lucky. Now there is now way will these replace 'real' figures but Peter Dennis is a damn fine artist and I think he has made some wonderful images.

So in between painting etc the snip, snip, snip can be heard and lo and behold the Saxons for Fulford gate are just about done

Now as I also enjoy board games this sort of thing fits neatly between the two, in addition the rules by Andy Callan seem pretty good as well.

With advancing years and no desire to keep adding to the already substantial lead and plastic mountain I think this is a great halfway house.

For those who dont wish to cut out so close to the figures etc. I've been playing around reducing the figures and painting in the sky - will show some later they end up around 20mm although I did go down as low as 10!!

The books are available from Helion books and Amazon and are certainly worth a look, his AWI one is especially nice. To come is a Marlburian and early medieval.

Monday 30 October 2017

Fiasco 2017

It's not very often that i get to visit a show these days as a fee paying 'punter' but Fiasco held at what used to be the Saville suite opposite the Royal Armouries is a show I try to go to just to catch up with people and see what's happening from the other side of the table.

So it was that Sunday morning, after that extra hour in bed, saw me driving the 70 miles to Leeds arriving just after 10.

The show itself I feel is not as good as it was in the glory days of the 90's but it has held it's own as a medium sized show with a good and varied selection of traders.

There were a few games that caught my eye but compared to the likes of Partizan it certainly lacks the 'show' of the real historical games as is my like.

Trader wise I spent most of my money with Martin at 'Warbases' on bases and some more of his superb 15mm Ancient Roman buildings. I have seen his company grow from it's inception and to be fair he is one of the nicest people in the business and produces fantastic product.

The other chunk of cash went to Trevor and Paula on Coritani Miniatures/Magnetic displays on all sorts of bits, paints, brushes etc.

In addition I bought some 6mm ACW buildings from Leven miniatures who do some wonderful stuff including a very nice Vauban fort.

1st corps almost tempted me with their new ancient Thracians and more Dark age of which I shall no doubt buy some of shortly but I cam away lead and plastic free. There are loads of nice figures out there but the days of impulse buying seem to have passed me by or is it that I'm just becoming a grumpy old man!

Nice to touch base with quite a few people as well. Down side of the venue is the extremely poor lighting and the catering, apart from buying some very nice cake off the charity cake stall I had my meal in the Armouries.

Now onto the games that caught my eye and apologies for some of the pictures as I said lighting was horrendous.

James Roach with his Seven Years War rendition of the Battle of Zorndorf was the best by far  and the only other game I took photos of was Leven Miniatures 6mm Siege of Gondor - not enough figures but the model of Gondor and of the figures was very nice.
 That doesn't mean the other games were poor they just didn't do anything for me. - more Grumpy Old man!! A show still worth a half day visit with a follow up to the Armouries.

I did go over to the Armouries to see the Agincourt diorama again pictures are not too good due to the protective case over the model but it is worth seeing

My next blog installment will be a bit about gaming and Paper Soldiers!!!

Sunday 1 October 2017

Mounted Fusiliers De Morliere

These have been a long time coming. The riders are painted by Steve Allen I did the horses etc and on this occasion had to have a go at the guidon.

I gave up painting flags years ago but as none seems to do this one I had to have a go hence the delay.
It's passable!

Just got some horse holders to do now.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

British on Parade

Whilst tidying the gaming cabin up I thought it was about time to deploy the British army that are currently painted.
With the exception of some dismounted dragoons and a couple of guns here they are!
For some reason half the images from the ipad wouldn't upload but hopefully you will get a taste

One more Guard battalion and five more line to go together with 6 or 7 squadrons of horse and then some militia

Sunday 3 September 2017

Best of Times - Worst of Times

Just a short reflective post and I'm sorry if I ramble.
Following my divorce its enough to say that times were turbulant especially with my son who was 12 at the time and many years passed where his resentment, hurt etc all came to the fore. Enough to say that I often wondered if I could ever put things right.

18 months ago he asked if he could move in with us, he had been seeing a a girl from America and he wanted to emigrate and marry her, he was finding it hard to live at home with his mam. My wife despite reservations said he should live with us.

Despite some ups and downs we've put a lot of things right, father and son time has been spent doing all things we often talked about but never did - we haven't quite completed the list as whilst 18 months seems a long time it soon passes and Friday saw us have our last big wargame - a 30k game was his wish and it was most probably one of the most fun games we had but tinge with sadness that it was our last until whenever!

The weekend has been hard helping him pack and sort things out and identifying what else I need to post out.

Tomorrow will be harder as we go to Newcastle airport and he flies off to pastures new in Georgia.

It comes to all families I know and as we get older Life becomes a series of good byes and just reinforces that we shouldn't squander our time.

So my son will start his new life and with luck I will be out there next year for his wedding.

Missing him already ( think he's hoping for a part on Vikings series 6 :) )

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Battle is given

Following on from my last post and thank you gentlemen for your comments a most excellent weekend was had by all.
As you're aware these actions usually find their way into one of Charles' publications so far be it for me to give a detailed account of the game.
However I will make some comments and observations - as you will know the battle started in the early hours of the morning in the dark with both armies reacting to what was around them as dawn broke.
Prior to the game Charles had sent us both briefing sheets and a very small map with a request that we wrote our orders and submitted them prior to the day.
Short of putting a curtain down the middle of the room then this process worked extremely well, we used reduced move and firing distances to reflect moving at night and were obliged to follow our orders until the enemy were spotted or troops arrived at their designated positions.
What quickly became apparent is that both John and I had completely misjudged the distances between key points on the board but had also completely got it wrong on our assumptions of where the enemy would be and what there plans were.
To add even more frustrations other than our CinC's we also only had one ADC with which to change orders, its fair to say that by the end of the day my General and his Aide had been run ragged.
Charles' amendments worked well to reflect the mayhem and chaos that often follows a night time engagement.
A close fought bloody  battle.
Just a few pics of the game which I don't think give anything away.