Friday 15 June 2012

Cavalry Reinforcements Arrive at Last.

 Probably most war gamers struggle with cavalry units.There is usually much more to paint on them,never mind putting them together. Anyway,I am making a determined effort to paint more cavalry
to add to my armies. The first unit are my version of the Saxon Ulhans,Yellow Pulk, that remained in Poland after Frederick had kidnapped the Saxon army at Pirna. Initially I was going to use only units that actually fought in the Seven Years War, but then I thought I would revert to what I originally did when I started war gaming,and just paint what I fancied,hence the Ulhans.
 Hinchliffe lancers on Foremost horses,still a really good range of figures.
 These chaps are my Jackdaw French Dragoons,finally based and completed,again in yellow facings,which is my colour of the month for some reason.
 This chap was a spare from my box of castings,and is a Willie figure,showing off his captured French Flag,a la Minden.
 A unit of Prussian Dragoons,from Hinchliffe,and purchased off e bay,and touched up slightly to get them to fit in with my armies,again a really nice figure in my eyes.

 I had to add this photograph just to show off my tower,I know its self indulgent but what the hell.
Next is a further unit of Austrian Dragoons,again using Hinchliffe figures. I have re discovered my love for the range, not that I had really lost it. Never mind the newer ranges, Peter Gilder was far to good a designer to ignore.

Crann Tara Miniatures

One thing that did impress me at the Durham Show was a range of 28mm figures for the Jacobite wars,from my mate Graham Cummings.Using the title Crann Tara Miniatures,Graham has commissioned Richard Ansell to create a range of Jacobite's for him.
I saw the first six figures,cast and painted.
Imagine Minden Miniatures,but the Scottish version and one would have a good idea what you are looking at.
The figures are really lovely,with a great deal of detail and life about them.
I knew Graham was loaded,but to have such a range made me pretty envious of him.
 I know Graham intends to expand the range,so for anyone who wants to game this campaign I would definitely recommend the range.
What was really impressive was the different Targe's that went with each figure to give them even more individuality, war gamers are really lucky people.
See the figures at  scotia albion blogspot.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Armies of the Seven Years War.

I dashed down the sorting office this afternoon to collect a parcel and was very pleased to get my copy of Digby Smith's new book, Armies of the Seven Years War purchased from Amazon.
Obviously I have yet to read it,but just by flicking through the 300+ pages,I can see its been worth the wait to buy.
Under his alter ego, Otto Von Pivka,  Digby Smith produced a classic book for Napoleonic war gamers.
That book had everything one needed to get started painting uniforms,when there was a bit of a shortage in information.
 This time he has gone better. All the nations of the conflict are listed,describing their respective uniforms,and brief histories.Including the small German states, Portugal and Sweden.Also included is information about the equipment used etc.
To give even more value for money,brief histories of some of the commanders are included,and best of all some orders of battle with decent illustrations to help.
War gamers are so lucky at times, officially priced at £30.00p but with discounts I bought it for twenty,how can one be robbed!
Its beats £60 for the Games Workshop World War Two rules,and the average  £30.00 for war games rules. Cant wait for bedtime.

Tuesday 12 June 2012


I attended Durham's show last Saturday.
I have known some members of the club for a lot of years,and John and I used to pop in from time to time to have a game.In return members from the club have played in my big games over the years.

Durham is an old club which has been around since the late 1960's,and has had a show for well over 30 years. The last twenty or so have been at their base,with the show in the two main halls.

This year changed,in that the Bring and Buy was in the bowls pavilion with one club game.
In the two halls only two games were on show. The rest of the halls was taken up with tradestands.
This is a departure from what was normal,when there would be a number of invited games,usually about eight or so and about 15 traders,including Irregular Miniatures and Dave Thomas,both normally do well trade wise.
 Firstly the games.Two were from the club,and the third was a small game to show the Two Fat Lardies, latest rules off, presented by Richard from that company. [ A bit of a coup I believe]
The two club games were a  WW1 game,on nice terrain,but with only a small number of figures,the second, was an ACW using Black Powder rules presented by Paul Stevenson.
Paul always puts on a nice game,and this was no exception,a shame it was in the bowls hut though.
 As regards the idea of extra trade at the expense of more games. Well you couldn't swing a cat in one of the rooms,which caused a few problems for the disabled attenders,of which there was a few. The couple with a wheel chair were having a rum time of it.

In the second hall where the two games were placed, it was also crowded with trade stands,but at least you could wander a bit.
Food was provided in a small annex which is now a cafe.

John and I differed on the show. He was able to buy the figures he needed from Museum Miniatures,and was also able to sell off a few odds and ends so he thought the show was alright.
But as I pointed out Museum Miniatures always attend the show, and his stuff always sells, so that was no different.

Me I spent more than I did at Sheffield but then Dave Thomas was selling off some buildings,but apart from that,no eye candy to admire,no ideas to steal,and the extra trade was of no real interest to me.
So really a bit of a let down.

So what did the Open Day achieve,well if it was to make extra revenue,then it was probably a success,if it was to drill up more members,it probably failed if it was to showcase wargaming then it definitely failed.

Will the extra traders attend next year,that has to be debatable as the place started to empty by about 1.00pm and I cant believe that they will have made much,but I could be wrong. I have been known to be.  4 out of ten, and that's down to Paul Stevenson and Dave Thomas.
Sorry for the negativity.


Initially I couldn't decide if it was a good idea to write this post,as if it is read,it may upset some people that know me to say hello to.Also it may look like sour grapes to members of my nearest wargames club,especially as it is partly about their show.
 But then I thought I am entitled to an opinion,so what the hell..............
In the last few weeks I have attended two wargames shows, Sheffield Triples and Durham Wargames Open Day.
I attended Triples on the Saturday.
Triples has always been my favorite show,and has always generated a great deal of anticipation for me.
The move to the new venue has tended to temper this excitement,and this year I think its fair to say completely snuffed out any remaining enthusiasm that I had.
Firstly the venue is soulless,and has about as much character as Ed Milliband,[which is pretty bad]
Secondly somebody decided to exploit the parking situation,by charging to park visitors' car,when previously it was free. I'm pretty certain it was only for the Triples weekend by the way.
Hopefully it wasn't Sheffield Wargames Club,but who knows.
Then the entrance fee went up.
Once inside, after a quick whizz around the trade, I went to look at the games,in order to pick up ideas,get inspiration,and generally admire the skill of other wargamers.
 May be its me,but the majority of the games,lacked something. The best game in my view by a country mile was the lads from Ilkley,who put on a lovely Old School game with their own cast Prince August figures.Mark Dudley has got to be applauded just for his enthusiasm,never mind the lovely figures.
Apart from that I thought there was a very good World War two game,with some lovely terrain.
The other games were okay,but just didnt seem to have the sparkle of previous years.

  Bring and Buys generally are dying a death due to Ebay. Punters expect too much for their stuff,and in this day and age buyers,dont want to pay it.
  A bit of an impasse really.The majority of the items for sale,didn't look worth the asking prices.
  I think the way ahead,is to barter,like the York shows set up.

The actual competition which used to be heavily subscribed to,looked like it was short of competitors and seemed to lack the normal buzz.
The place began to empty by about 1.30pm.
I usually judge shows,by how much I have spent and how,excited I am about what I have seen.
This time,I spent more on food than figures, and I had nothing to talk about on the way back home.
5 out of 10,and that's probably attributable to Mark Dudley's game.
Take note Sheffield, get back to the old venue,and consider making the event one day,not two.

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