Friday 29 April 2011

Confused from County Durham!

Well I'd like to thank Moss Trooper for sending me this nomination for my ramblings, I am a bit wary because coming from a computer knowledge base of zero, I always worry there's some scam and my computer is going to melt with viruses or whatever.
 Anyway I accept, but I wont be doing a tearful acceptance speech.
 I understand that I have to nominate a blog for a similar award, and I commend the following, Unfashionable Shiney, purely on inspiration alone.
 I also believe that I am supposed to record seven things about myself;
 1] Typically I have been wargaming for over 40 years, the 70's were a great time to be a teenager.
 2] I am proud to say I have been to see Rod Stewart 42 times, but I am more reluctant to be down the front now, I always get covered in perfume and makeup from the other fans.
3] I have lost count of the number of times I have seen Bruce Springsteen, but never tire of being in the pit with the rest of the fans.
4] I still regret selling my 25mm Italian wars armies, and always ask if I can buy them back.
5] I regret not buying the fabulous Wars of the Roses armies that John sold years ago, they were one of the best I have ever seen, and would still out shine most other WOR armies.
6] I am glad I perservered with my SYW armies, as they have led me to other areas of wargaming and contacts with other gamers.
7] I am determined to make the wargames room in the house I am building an inspiration to new and novice wargamers, as I remember the first time I entered the room owned by a man called Dave Natrass and was literally blown away by the whole spectacle.Dave [god knows what happened to him] had a loft room with a 10' by 8' table, a Martini Henry rifle on show, and a uniformed manaquin of a soldier from Rorkes drift. He also posessed BIG Napoleonic, and Ancient Greek armies.
 I hope to emulate the excitement one had when you entered the room in my new room.    

Thursday 28 April 2011

Wagon Trains

 I am a bit eclectic about my painting. I try to be disciplined and complete a unit at a time,but my attention does wander and I will paint up an odd figure,or more recently a wagon or limber. Lately I have managed to create a wagon train, bigger than the one toted around Saxony by the Prussians.
[ I exagerate a tad] I do like painting Hinchliffe wagons etc, as they have a charm about them. Gilder and Frank Hinchliffe were way ahead of their time with such models, especially their artillery pieces.  
Meandering on, I was pleased to see that Lamming figures are to be re released. I loved their medeaval range with the separate heads etc, and their renaissance range, especially the landsnects. I dont know how they will compare to current ranges,but still good news. What was also good news was that Bill Lamming is still alive,he was a great ambassador for wargaming. Buy some figures when they are released.

He Died Old.

The title of this entry is a curious one, but is the title of a book that I have just finished reading called, 'He Died Old' by Alfred Duggan. As I have stated before I am a bit of an anorak when it comes to collecting things,whether wargames figures,books or magazines. the same goes for authors. I have always enjoyed the books of Alfred Duggan,after being recommended to read ' Foundling Fathers' by my late mother [god rest her soul] when I was a pallid teenager. Duggan was an excellent author of historical fiction who had an idiosyncratic way of writing. Over the years I have slowly put together his collection of books and He Died Old is one of the last that I needed.[ Well technically I didnt need it, but I wanted it] He Died Old isnt a fictional book,but an enjoyable life of Mithridates VI `the Great' of Pontus.
 Now I knew very little about this figure,but having read this book, I want to know more. He was known as the poisoner king,who in order to survive took poison every day to build up his immunity. He fought three wars against Rome,and apart from marrying his sister and then having her executed,also sired numerous off spring,one of whom finally betrayed him.  He also inspired immense loyalty in the Hellenic world. Oh and by the way,instigated a massive pogrom which saw 70,000 italians/roman civilians killed. Duggan manages however to provide an enjoyable read to a massive character of ancient history and I do recommend this book as a good start to learning about Mithridates VI.
 I would also recommend 'Foundling Fathers' the story of Romulus and Remus, 'Family Favourites' the story of the Emperor Eglablagus?, 'Knight with Armour' a story of the first Crusade, ' Threes Company' the story of Lepidus and all right then, any other book written by Alfred Duggan.
 Some have been re released and are available on Amazon, buy one give them a try. I have been viewing the photographs of the painting competition from SALUTE 2011. The standard is as usual very high,but I have noticed that what is classed as a wargames unit is becoming smaller, with some being five figures or less,but set in really nice terrain. We used to call these dioramas. It is my intention to go back to Salute next year after a lay off of several years, I think I will enter the painting competition, I can proudly say the last time I entered I came second in the wargame unit section. That occassion it was with a unit of 20 Aztec Eagle knights.I dont think I am up to the present standard however.

Saturday 16 April 2011

The ducal artillery and train,for the game that never was..

Following on from the last posting,I thought Id post photographs,of part of the ducal artillery and wagon train,again just to gee myself up. I had some spare! RSM figures so I cobbled together these gunners resplendent in their green and yellow.
 the wagons I picked up on e bay and are Hinchliffe,which I still think is a terrific range.The grenadier,was a sample sent by Warrior Miniatures,and is a fine figure and at a cheap price,even now.
Anyway back to my Hanoverians.

The game that never was.

The game that never was,or how an imaginary wargame,actually was just that. The last few months I have deviated from continuing with my SYW project to paint up units from a place created by my imagination,actually following in the footsteps of Charles Grant as it were.
The intention was to be able to participate in a weekend game organised by Henry Hyde,editor of Battlegames.
I do like Battlegames,and have briefly spoken to Henry Hyde once,several years ago,he seems a fairly decent type of person if you can form such an opinion from his editorials.Anyway I thought I had enrolled [if thats the word] in the weekend several months ago,and offered up a sizeable force to fight.
 The game is due at the end of April,and after a few feverish telephone calls,I was kindly offered a shared billet at a pub near the hall where the game is to be played.
All well and good,until I received notice the list of participants was closed.
Huge disappointment,to that news,and a fair amount of bemusement as I thought I was sorted for the game.[ I was bemused by the terse yet hysterical e mail I received] Anyway I thought I would post some of the stuff that I had completed just to cheer myself up.Hopefully it wont put me off building on what I have already completed.
I opted for purple,yellow and blue as my ducal colours,and thought a combination of French flags dotted with the odd colour mixture would look eyecatching. Trying to find something positve to say after the let down, I think this will focus my attention on my Hanoverians.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Hanoverian Horse Grenadiers

 Well I finally finished my Garde Grenadier half regiment. In our 'Nostalgic Whim SYW Rules' 24 figures make up a regiment of horse,but the Hanoverian regiments were small,so these are a 12 figure regiment. I will add the horse element at a later date to make it up to a full regiment.  I do like this unit,which will no doubt jinx it for its entire wargaming life. My last favourite unit, was a full brigade of Young Garde Tirailleurs,who managed to always either rout,or just plain runaway before they have a chance to do anything. I try not to curse my troops too much,but sometimes you imbibe imaginary status on what turns out to be a completely naff unit. Bring on the peasants I say.
 My imaginary! units move on a pace,with a battery of guns nearly finished,and the garde lancers underway. I have decided to go to the imaginary SYW weekend at the end of April so I am attempting to pad out my contingent as quickly as possible. When I say imaginary weekend it does actually exists, put I cant think of another name for an excuse to turn up with make believe,operatic uniformed units and hopefully socialise with likeminded people. 
 On another note, I have just completed re reading Charles Wesencraft's 'PRACTICAL WARGAMING',
 and again I came away thinking Charlie was vastly underated as one of the driving forces of wargaming. His ideas were well before their times and are still very relevant in todays climes.
 Charlie is 83 this year [I think] and I still bump in to him at North Eastern shows, but whenever I bring up about his contribution to wargaming,he just doesnt get it.
 I have been lucky to game with him twice,once when John and I put on a refight of Blenheim,which featured in the Practical Wargamer and then in a refight of Borodino. Both times he was a tough bugger to game against, but he did have a cracking sense of humour. 
Anyway onwards and upwards, next my ducal wagon train with artillery attached.

Sunday 3 April 2011

Ducal String Quartet

Well, the painting continues anon, with my version of Eurekas string quartet, painted in the ducal colours of deep yellow and purple. The figures were a pig to fix to the chairs, but were still a nice figure to paint,so cant really complain to much.
 I took receipt of a small number of painted Spencer Smith cavalry this weekend, I had forgotton how simplistic these figures are, with very little detail etc to paint. I have attempted to touch them up a bit but they are still not very good,and certainly not a patch on my RSM figures, but its all a matter of personal taste, and if they were good enough for Charles Grant then who am I to gripe about them.

I have nearly finished my batallion of Garde Grenadiers  [ I think I will use the French spelling from now on] again in deep yellow, they dont look too bad all things considering.
 I intend to maintain some discipline and alternate between one batallion of Hanoverians and one from my new side project, well thats the theory anyway.
 As stated previously I have been attempting to collect an Old School wargamer library and have been attempting to obtain copies of a lot of the books that set me on my way in the wargaming world. I think it may be of interest if I downloaded bits from some of these books. I still find a lot of the stuff relevant, even if we have moved on as regards to the availability of figures etc. But even there I still find, Hinchliffe, Willie, Rsm and Warrior of a decent standard compared to modern figure designers, even the Perrys and Eureka.

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