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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

All Fur Coat and No knickers!

 Now that I have some standards available I have been able to complete another brigade of figures from Jim Sweeny's influx of reinforcements.I touched up some of these figures to cover knocks and other little things but overall I didn't do too much to them.I did have to add the odd figure to complete them, but really it was pain free. I keep telling myself that I need to have a target to aim at and then stop, but honestly I cant. I have never been like that and tend just to carry on until I get a bit sick. It also doesn't help if I see some new eye candy that I then go and buy, ie the FG Mini range of ACW figures.I couldn't help ordering a regiment of the 14th New York Volunteers resplendent in their distinctive chasseur uniform. Hopeless really. I think its the red chasseur pants.

And now onto a little rant / critque.
 I like to read in bed and I am currently re reading my collection of Practical Wargamer magazines that were edited by Stuart Asquith in the late 1980's and early 1990's.  [ I live the life ]
 I always loved that magazine and still find them an interesting read. Its a bit sad really because I can virtually remember the details of my favourite articles from the magazine without having to read them.
   Anyway the latest Wargames Illustrated dropped through the letterbox this week which unfortunately caused me to compare the two magazines. Its a wasted exercise in some respects because one has to accept that things move on and readers want a different experience from what was originally in the Practical Wargamer.
  I mean in a lot of respects the WI has to be better in that its production values are so much higher, with better quality images of the figures and just a more professional feel to the whole thing.
 But like most things nowadays it may look better but the looks are deceptive. [ I always think of supermarket apples, they look wonderful and taste of absolutely nothing ]
   The WI seems like a hefty tome of wargaming goodness, but for me it was just well, 'all fur coat and no knickers.'
 We had 'articles' [ advertisements] about the new Flames of War rules  which I suppose should excite someone. Then we had an 'article' about a new rulebook called Maelstorm's Edge [Good name] and a new set of figures to go with this new concept. I took the time to read the thing, and came away with a Groundhog Day moment. Hadn't I read something similar several times before in earlier issues concerning other futuristic worlds and other ranges of figures?

 We then had a scenario regarding the up and coming Battlegroup Tobruk supplement which is about to be released. [ Advertisement, product placement? ] Then I enjoyed? a piece about a new continent for the Congo rules [ South America!]  Followed by a Rules Showcase for Flames of War. [ You know where I'm going with this]

 By this time I was beginning to simply flick through the glossy pages looking for anything that I might enjoy. 'Godslayer'  concerning a set of rules?  [advertisement ] to be released in April which is about a pseudo fantasy Bronze Age game. [FFS ]

   I flicked onto a Perry Miniatures affair regarding their Desert range and their future plans. [advertisement ]   I was really beginning to struggle by now to be honest. Barry Hilton held my attention briefly regarding a scenario for 1694 but it is a very neat way to keep one's range of figures for that period in public view. I shouldn't be too critical of Barry's enterprising efforts I suppose.
I finally found a brief article regarding the German's use of reconditioned tanks at the close of the war mildly interesting. But it was just a nibble of interest. There needed to be more depth to what could have been informative to say the least.
So my point is this. Should I be alive in ten plus years time, would I make the effort to sit an re read the WI as I am currently doing with Practical Wargamer, absolutely not for so many reasons.
 It may look like a Wargames Magazine, it may have lovely photographs of stuff that wargamers should like, it may give itself  the title of the Premier Tabletop Gaming Magazine but frankly it ain't.
  There were some lovely real advertisements [on a positive note], which will no doubt lead onto a new series of 'articles' sometime soon.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Steve Hezzlewood, a further follow up.

I received a contact from Lee at The Kings Shilling who has created a wonderful post regarding the late, great Steve Hezzlewood on his site.
 He has included pictures from the two Echelon Miniature ranges that never saw the light of day. Both the ACW and ECW ranges created by Steve Hezzlewood are as good as a lot of the newer ranges and frankly deserve to see the light of day in people's collections. Check out the post at

 Thanks for getting back to me Lee.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


 The recruitment of my rebel forces has lagged behind the reinforcements that I received from the bold Jim Sweeny but I have managed to complete this unit of Perry Miniatures resplendent with early uniforms.I just cant seem to make my efforts look 'rebel' enough, I must admit I have always liked to exaggerate the colours of historical units, simply to catch your eye when viewed.

 I have also finished basing one of the Hinchliffe/Echelon Miniature units. They are waiting for their standards but I do like them. They are a mish mash of figures that are over 30 years old, maybe  should call them my Old Guard. The Steve Hezzlewood figures stand out from the older Pete Gilder ones, but I like them both for different reasons.

 I also finished basing a Redoubt Miniatures Iron Brigade unit, courtesy of Jim, they are brutes but have a lot of life in them.The Union is gathering pace.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

A Steve Hezzlewood follow up.

Following on from my last post I have been 'dinking' about the internet regarding those damned Hezzlewood ACW figures and came across a company called The Kings Shilling who had posted the following on their site regarding a 28mm ACW and ECW range from the late Steve Hezzlewood.
 I know that Steve Hezzlewoods life was 'complicated' to say the least but Alte Fritz aka Jim Purkey had kindly commented that the 28mm ACW never got into production and look like they never existed. Jim knows his stuff, but now I am really intrigued as to whether Steve Hezzlewood may have created some master sculpts in 28mm but didn't sell them with the rest of the Pax Britannica ranges back in the early 1990's and instead sold them to someone in the UK. I've contacted the Kings Shilling just to see what their take is on their post.All I want is a bag full of Hezzlewood's ACW figures, its not too much to ask is it.

Steve Hezzlewood’s Designs

The original idea behind setting up The King’s Shilling was to launch our own range of figures, based on the work of the late Steve Hezzlewood. Unfortunately right now, this is not looking too promising although we do have a number of master castings the master moulds are no longer viable meaning any ranges we could produce would be small and not up to the standard we would have liked.
Having said that, we do envisage a time when there are a range of TKS Miniatures also available via The King’s Shilling website, so for those that are interested please watch this space.
If you’re eager for the return of Steve Hezzlewood’s ACW and ECW ranges in 28mm or would like to share any memories you have of Steve’s designs then please drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.

Pax Britannica ACW figures, what happened to them?

Well things have improved, and I would like to say thank you for all your kind comments. My long suffering wife is a bit better but still not 'right.' That's NHS speak for we dont know what went on but take two paracetamol and see what happens. Its no point being angry because where would one start. Anyway I have been pottering on between my wife's naps and doing some rebasing of the figures I got from Jim Sweeny.
   Amongst the stuff Jim sold me, was three regiments of what he called 'back of the table figures' which he gave me for free. Some Yorkshiremen can be generous, honest.
 Now I take a different view with these figures because although they are old, mainly Hinchliffe they still have the magic for me. I normally touch them up and reuse them. However included in the batch were a small number of ACW figures designed by the great but flawed genius, Steve Hezzlewood and released originally as Pax Britannica.
 My SYW armies originated via Steve Hezzlewood's range and are still amongst the best sculpts as regards proportions and sculpting.
 I never owned or saw any of the ACW figures, but now I have a few, I would dearly like some more. The Dayton Painting Company took control of the SYW ranges, but I dont think they could have bought the ACW range, which wasnt the biggest. I would love to know who has the original castings because the ones I have are still brilliant figures.
 If anyone has any knowledge of what happened to the Pax Britannica ACW range than I would be very interested.
 Probably not the best images of one of Steve Hezzlewoods ACW figures, but you can see [I hope ] some of what I like about them.I touched up some of the paint on them and gave them new faces. They certainly wont end up at the back of my table. The other two figures are from the original Hinchliffe range, I still like these chaps, althought they are of their time.

    Re based regiments of Elite Miniatures kindly provided by Jim with a couple of artillery pieces from the same source. Looking pretty good to me.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

A kick in the cojons.

Sometimes what appears to be a 'given' in life turns around to kick one right in the cods. My last post mentioned my eagerly anticipated trip to the York Wargames Show and everything I hoped to buy and the people I needed to meet, and then wallop a kick in the cojons fettles all your plans.
 Needless to say I didnt get to York and instead spent 12 hours in the A@E with my poor wife hoping to see a Doctor.
 There's little point in explaining the whys and wherefores of what happened, but upon my wife's discharge from the hospital we still had not seen a doctor and had instead been dealt with by the NHS phenomena of an Advanced Practitioner [senior nurse] No one at hospital emergency that night was treated? by a doctor as they were needed elsewhere.
 Ten hours later I had to recontact the paramedics to deal with the collapse of my poor wife again. I could go on, but after a further two visits to a doctor, numerous tests etc my wife is well enough to allow me to type this post.We still dont know what caused her severe pain and collapse, and probably never will.
 So I missed my favourite show and its fair to say I am gutted, but grateful that my poor wife is still around to put up with me. U darent think about Salute in case I jinx that as well.

 I have still managed to continue with my wargaming between caring, cooking etc, [ I am fairly useful at times]
                                              My new Texas cavalry. Plastic Perry figures.

 I would love to say that I had painted the figures below, but they are part of a contingent that had belonged to the excellent Jim Sweeney and handed over at York.This is the first unit which I have re based. Annoyingly this is exactly the dark blue colour I have wanted since I started this damned ACW project. Jim is a great painter capable of some seriously good work.I cant wait to re base the rest of the units.

 Further figures that I was due to collect at York. This time Saxon SYW generals painted by the legend that is Phil Robinson. A very kind gift from him.


Monday, 30 January 2017

Goodbye January, hello York Wargames Show.

Well here we are January 2017 nearly gone, with only one post to show for the month which is very bad form. I must admit I seem to be no different than most wargaming bloggers I follow, given their dearth of posts. I was beginning to think that wargamers had found another way to communicate their projects and thoughts, I hope I am wrong.
Anyway I have been working away at my small ACW project, but I have also been busy painting some more 54mm plastic medievals' and also some 28mm Perry Napoleonic generals which I have been putting on E Bay.  I have also noticed that wargamers on E Bay have also been very quiet, I suppose Christmas and the daily bulletins about post Brexit financial meltdown have understandably scared a few people to rein back on their spending.
Again I must admit I have been tempted to slip in a couple of post truth items concerning post brexit and the collapse of wargaming just for sheer devilment, but then somebody somewhere would have passed the items off as truth and God knows what would have happened. Mind I see that the price of metal used in the production of soldiers is forecast to rise by 150% due to the collapse of Sterling, those Brexit Bas***ds, if that had been known I wouldn't have voted as I did. I want a second referendum and I want it now.
 There are only a few certainties in life, Sunderland football club to be relegated regularly,me to throw one's when I need sixes, taxes and death. Everything else is only happenstance and fate, so fretting about how our country will end up is frankly a waste of oxygen.
So back to reality. I have definitely painted these figures, and enjoyed the experience thoroughly.
A 6pdr horse artillery unit. I purchased some ACW artillery pieces from Hinds Figures in their currents sale. Frank Hinchliffe was a dab hand at modelling artillery.

 I am pleased to see the back of Redoubt Miniatures Garibaldi Guard, simply because they took some painting, heavens knows why. They were carrying a bit of heavy flash, but I like them now they have some paint on them.

                                        Another Perry unit, some more Iron Brigade chaps.
Its the York Show this weekend, so it means that the wargaming season has started. I think York is now my favourite show, especially with the sad demise of Sheffield Triples. Hopefully I will bump into a few wargamers I see only at shows for a bit of a chat.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating