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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

     Normally, it being New Years Eve, I would be on the drink as all true North Eastern heterosexual males should be at this time of year. Unfortunately I'm not, due to a touch of man bronchitis.
 Funnily enough this is how I actually started this blog several years ago, when again I couldn't go drinking because my wife had proper flu. So in some ways, from misfortune comes a benefit. Anyway enough of the burbling and onto the post.
 Displayed is a rather dashing Father Time, and time is one thing that is very precious to a wargamer.
 I don't see any point in making resolutions, but my one hope/ intention is to find more time, not just to wargame, but to actually sort out my poor time management per se.
 I am of an age where my family have grown up, so one would think that I would have more time for the hobby. Somehow 2013 didn't actually work out like that. Still I don't think I can complain too much, I have nearly finished my Renaissance Borgia army, ahead of schedule. I have moved on to painting up an equivalent French army to use up some of my metal mountain.
 My existing Seven Years War project has just kept growing and is of a decent size.
  The one big issue was the decrease in the number of actual games I fought. As John would no doubt remind me, the games I played in dropped alarmingly, so for 2014 I intend to re balance my gaming time. Not a resolution more an intention.
  I was going through my unpainted SYW figures tonight, and realised that I have a whole regiment of Stadden Grenadiers that need some love and paint, couple this to a regiment of Willie Irish troops that also need some attention then I need to find some time to complete these units.
 So that's time needed for more games, time for some painting of some lovely figures and time that I need to devote to my long suffering wife who has put up with a lot this last year. Already my time looks to be under pressure. Not forgetting that I actually hold down a full time job, I think I am already stretching things a tad. But as I said the most important thing is finding the time to do everything you want.
 As its the last day of 2013, I thought I would do my view of the world of wargaming in 2013;
 Well there seemed to be some exciting developments in the world of 28mm wargaming, with several enthusiasts putting their money where there mouth is and creating their own range of figures, ie Cran Tara and the wonderful AWI range from Alt Fritz.
  My only real concern with this worthy ideal is the fact that all the ranges seem be sculptured by the same man,  Richard Ansell, who is a very busy chap and must be under a lot of pressure.
  Still he creates very fine figures so hopefully that will continue.
 The increase in plastic figures also grew apace, especially in 15mm with the excellent Plastic Soldier and Zveda ranges. Both great for tankies the world over.
 I'm not certain that plastic will continue to grow in the 28mm scale. The reason why I have this contentious view is the need to actually take the time [ that concept again] to actually stick the buggers together and the fact that no matter how well you paint them, it seems a lot of wargamers don't hold them in the same esteem as their metal counterparts. Personally I think its a great way to build up an army fairly cheaply.
  I have a lot of 6mm armies that I have built up over a fair period of time, and I have noticed as I have attempted to rationalise my collections this year, is that they sell really well, and basically wargamers are very keen to own them. Now I am probably jumping to wild conclusions, but I think a lot of wargamers recognise that they can never own that 20 foot wargames table, and could never afford the armies of Bill Gaskin, and have accordingly opted for the smaller scales ie, 6mm, 10mm and 15mm.
 So lets see more articles, photographs of these scales in the magazines in 2014.
 On the wargames show front, my favourite show had to be York. This is definitely a show on the up, perhaps because it one of the first of the new campaigning year, or more because there seems to be a real buzz about the event, with lots of wargamers meeting up after the winter.
 My favourite product of the year was the Army Painter range of paints,especially their white which covers really well and leaves a smooth finish.
 My favourite range of figures for 2013 was the Pro Gloria landsknects, not cheap but beautiful figures to paint.
 This is starting to read like some cheap list of Oscar predictions however, my favourite wargames company of 2013 was Ian Hind of Ian Hinds figures, purely for the fact that he cut the price of his Hinchliffe ranges and has very good mail order, so well done.
 Finally after some lengthy deliberation I have been scrabbling around trying to decide what period I should embark into next. Here is a clue.......... All answers in my comments box.
    So on that note, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and remember life is not a dress rehearsal so grab the time while you can................

Monday, 30 December 2013

What do we want from a Wargames Magazine.

Leading on from my last rant/post, Andy on Glorious Soldiers put together his own post about the state of the wargaming press at the moment, and of greater relevance, why do we buy the current magazines and what are they for.
 This set me off thinking[ Andy, I do most of my thinking in bed, not the toilet, that's the place for reading]
 Anyway I have to admit I am a sucker for the printed word. From early in my wargaming life I would buy anything that was the least bit connected to the hobby. At that time finding information was difficult to say the least. This was the 1970's one should remember.
 One of my first magazine purchases was Miniature Warfare, which I found to be a bit sparse on information and tended to be about the wargamers in the London area. I still bought it when I could afford to. Why? because I wanted to be a part and learn about the hobby.
I wasn't aware of the Waragmers Newsletter until after it had folded, which has always been a regret of mine, but that was the nature of the 1970's there was very little communication in the wargaming world, it was almost like joining the Freemasons but much more difficult.
  I managed to buy the odd copy of Battle, and I can still remember being envious of the renaissance set up of the South London Warlords and the wonderful figures painted by the late great Bill Brewer.
 Of course that went the way of the Newsletter. Not enough subscriber interest.
 By this time I was regularly buying Military Modelling/ Battle, which for a short while was a pretty good magazine, Stuart Asquith wrote some excellent pieces on the English Civil war, and Terry Wise never pulled his punches in his observations page.
 Obviously things did evolve and change, and when Duncan Macfarlane produced Miniature Wargames well as a wargamer I was in hog heaven. I sometimes think Duncan never got the plaudits he justly deserved for producing the magazine that set the standard for the future. Great photographs, some really inspiring articles, Wally Hearl, Andy Callan, and even Paddy Griffith, who at the time caused a storm.

After this success, then wargamers began to be inundated with wargames magazines. I will confess, that I bought them all. I know I have this problem, which is basically I have to collect things. Perhaps a simplistic explanation of my need to have a 'collection' I never seem to be satisfied until the collection is complete.  Sorry for rambling on a bit, but anyway back to Andy's question, what exactly do we want from a Wargames magazine and why do we buy it. Everyone is different, and everyone wants different things, otherwise life would be so boring and pointless. 
As I have stated before, I enjoy re reading all my old wargames magazines, whether it is for inspiration, or just to find an old article that I want to check on for some fact or other. The point is wanting to reread these magazines indicates to me that they are of some worth.Can this be leveled at the current magazines?
I purchased the current Wargames Illustrated, issue 315, and found that although it feels like a hefty tome, I had 'read' it in less than half an hour! Now I am not in the business of knocking wargamers, or the wargaming press, [ honest ] but I closed the mag feeling that somehow I had been hadover........
 [ North East speak for being fooled or defrauded]
 The vast majority of features [ not articles] were by or about wargame companies or current wargames products. Product placement at its finest. The only two features I actually read were about Duke Siegfried and the other was the report from Crisis. So why did I buy the damned thing? Habit, that's all I can think of, habit and the fear that I will have missed out somehow. 

The current Miniature Wargames was no better, and more worryingly seemed to be devoid of ideas in a lot of respects. The most informative article I found was about varnish, which to be fair, was of use to me. I havent got my current Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy but I do expect that it will be better than the two other magazines. It still has a freshness and relevance about it. Anyway I cant comment on the current issue, but I do enjoy the mag, even though the original Spanish one was better.

 Now it is very easy to criticise, and it seems that 21st century man is prepared to whine and carp about anything, but no one ever seems to offer a solution or even an opinion which may be of use.
 Being someone who is of an age where he recognises that he is out of kilter with modern living I am going to offer up a few suggestions about what I would like in a wargames magazine which would make me want not only to buy it, but also collect it. 

1] I personally enjoy well written articles that encourage wargamers to want to 'do' the battle or even the period. So for me a clear and concise unit list, and an explanation of how the number of units were arrived at. A good map is always a boon.  A decent list of references is also to be encouraged, a reader might want to buy the reference book.The odd photograph of the set up is also a help.

2] Before the demise of the last editor of Miniature Wargames, the product reviews were very well written and helpful. So they would be of interest, to me anyway. 

3] A 'how do' article is of use, as long as it doesnt drag into several months worth of magazine.

4] I enjoy discussion/ argument. Wargamers have opinions, maybe some have too many, but what better way to generate some energy than a writer who plays devils advocate. The editorials of Donald Featherstone were always feisty, and in the current mad age of blandness and fear of offending they would be a blessing.

5] The odd well photographed set up still has its place in a wargames magazine for me, its always nice to have something to aspire to. I do resent however where the photographs ARE the article and there seems very little reason for its existence.

6] As regards wargames rules. Fair enough if its a review, or even a playtest set against other similar rules, but does it have to be an obvious advertisement for the latest £30.00 tome.

7] Some people don't like reviews of shows, personally I do. Especially if I am looking to attend a new show. A scoring system as long as it is consistent also helps, well it helps me anyway.

8] Finally, there are many wargamers around the country who deserve a little bit of acknowledgement. The odd interview/ feature with them would be nice. I dont just mean traders, but wargamers who regularly produce a good game, paint a mean figure or just are generally helping wargaming along. One that immediately springs to mind is John Tuckey who seemed to have a large game on at most shows. I would find it interesting to see how John wargamed.
Anyway, these are just my opinions.............

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Susan Boyle the next big thing in wargaming?

                                                            Susan throws a six!

I hope not to finish this year on a negative note, so I will endeavor to write another post before the New Year. However before I return to a more up beat tone,I am beginning to wonder about the latest book releases titled Mega Wargaming from Wargames Illustrated, price £30.00 and Masters in Miniatures from the Perry twins also retailing at £30.00.
 When it was decided to publish these two books, who was the audience that they were actually aiming at?
I could understand when Henry Hyde released his book Wargaming Compendium, it actually had a purpose which I think it achieved.
 I could also understand when John Ray published his book, A Military Gentleman. The book was clearly a labour of love. I was actually in the enviable position to be able to buy it, and the reason I did so was because I admire the artistry of John Ray and I personally know Dave Jarvis who painted a lot of the figures. I knew it would never help with improving  my historical knowledge but it would inspire me to hopefully paint a tad better. It was never meant to move the hobby on.
 I suppose the same could be said of the other two books, but does it really?
 Clearly Ron Ringrose is a talented chap, and has sufficient financial clout to be able to exhibit some lovely large diorama like terrain pieces in a very large wargames room, but it is hardly a typical set up,  and lets be right, the setups that he has created have been published with regularity by Wargames Illustrated ad nauseam.
 Again with the Perry twins, they are clearly very talented figure sculptors, but filling 160 pages with photographs of their ranges is hardly going to inspire many new wargamers, especially when their ranges are invariably on show in the wargaming press every month.
 So what is the justification for the release of these two books?
 Personally, and its hard not to be cynical about these releases, it has to be money, what other justification can there be.
 Will either of these two books be classed as wargaming classics in the future?
 I very much doubt it. Once purchased and looked at, the books will be filed away and left.
 Perhaps in some way similar to a record release by Susan Boyle, at the time a novelty, and then an embarrassment.
 One of the things that bothers me is the price, again the magical figure of thirty quid!
  I have just bought The Black Bands of Giovanni concerning the history of the famous black bandes in the Italian Wars. This softback book was £25.00, but it contains an awful lot of factual history, and is well researched. It is a book to return to should I want to check on some part of the make up of those units. That book is a well researched history book, Mega Wargaming and Masters in Minatures are really just pretty fluff.
 My gripe, wargamers deserve better than this.
 We all like pretty painted soldiers but please give the average wargamer some credit instead of looking to make some easy bucks.    

Friday, 29 November 2013

Pro Gloria where are you?

Now I may be jumping the gun, but does anyone know if Pro Gloria are still in existence and trading.
 I placed an order with them in October for their new arquebusiers. These were due to be released October 22nd. Anyway they never came. So I e mailed their contact point and also sent a couple of Facebook posts. Nothing.
 I then tried via their English agent Empress Miniatures, not that it has much to do with them, to find out if Stefan was still doing the business, as they say. All they could do was forward on my e mail.
 So if anyone knows what is going on please can you tell me. I love the figures and it would be a damn shame to lose the range. Oh and it would be nice to have my arquebusier order honoured.
 On that happy note.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Smoggycon 2013.

Well yesterday was Smoggycon, and I think it went pretty well from a wargamers point of view.
 There seemed to be plenty of people through the doors, and the show didn't empty till after the witching hour of 2.30pm.
One thing that did strike me after I had set up our game, which was the first time that my entire Borgia army was on show. It was the fact that I had painted so much stuff!
 When you knuckle down and start painting a new project, ie 28mm renaissance, I was enjoying myself so much painting the figures that I forgot to see just how many units I had.
 I will now have to carry on of course, and paint up a similar amount of opponents, probably French. But then I think some Spanish would be nice. Its amazing how one can justify anything.
As for the actual game, well Pike and Shotte can be a bugger to play when you are throwing bollocks dice. The dice gods were certainly playing games with me, the first time I went to fire my battery of guns I threw double one. Now John tried to convince me that it meant the battery was out of action for the entire game, I was having none of it though. He likes to play games with an opponents mind. John kindly let it go stating that they were out of range anyway.
 Of course when he moved into range on move two, and I again throw double one then you start to believe that things are against you. Especially after I read the rule about battery firing, and of course John was right. So bang went my guns.  [ See above]

Move three witnessed me throwing a blunder which allowed my infantry to wander around like lost sheep.Moves four and five saw me fail the command orders. By this time what had been a mature wargamer was beginning to behave like a child, and a naughty one at that.
So I called a time out, to allow me to speak to various people who needed urgently to talk to me, well actually I was a bit like the looney on the bus, as I tried to engage in conversation with anyone who stared towards where I was stood.

 It was nice though to meet and actually talk to people about wargaming. I finally met Andy Callan, of hair roller fame which was very pleasant. I also bumped into Phil Robinson and was able to hand to Charlie Wesencraft a copy of Achtung Schweinhund which I hope he enjoys as much as I did.
I finally got to meet JorD ie Dennis who only lives in Redcar. [Dont forget to e mail]
Anyway after a time out, things began to swing my way. Colin who had the left flank command was slicing through the enemy like hot butter, whilst John managed to blunder the Black Bande back across the table. After that my dice throwing improved, certainly enough to claim a victory if I was that way inclined. I had hoped to show some decent photographs, but my camera is playing up.
 I did learn I need more command bases. I will certainly need to construct some movement trays, and I will have to cut the sub units down to three bases.
 Apart from that I think people who stopped to look will have enjoyed the game.
 As a show Pendraken are to be congratulated, the advertising appeared to pay off, the food was cheap and pretty good and the traders who I talked to appeared to be happy.

I didnt really get to view many games, but Ian Callan, brother of Andy was next to us, with The Battle of Gettysberg in 6mm. I was really taken with the way the game used tiles for hidden movement.I have used this idea at the Wargames Holiday Centre, but not in our 6mm games. It looked good and worked well. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

An update.

Its been a while since I posted on my main blog. I have managed to post on my sister blog, but this has few followers up to now. Still I can hope.
 With me concentrating on painting renaissance units, my SYW project has taken a bit of a backseat. Couple this to my need to campaign against my councils desire to pave over all of Durham county, things have been a tad busy. It also didnt help when the driver who kindly wrote my car off and one of his passengers have suddenly discovered that they have whiplash! and need a dose of compensation. It only took them five weeks to discover this problem. It didnt stop them entering the local golf open the day of the accident,the bastards.
 Anyway back on the wargaming front, which is a great stress reliever. John introduced me to  Longships. All I can say, is what a cracking set of rules and what a great way to spend a night. Produced by Peter Pig, these are a great set of rules, that give enough historical content mixed with a simple game mechanism to add to a fun night. Recommended.
I also took a day's leave on Friday to go through to interview, Charles Wesencraft in order to produce an article hopefully for Miniature Wargames.
 Charlie is one of the most interesting people one could hope to meet. Very knowledgeable on military history, coupled with a great sense of humour, this is one of the nice people of the world.
 Hopefully I have done Charlie justice, as the two books, he wrote, Practical Wargaming and With Pike and Shot are classic wargaming books. Charlie deserves a lot more recognition than he has gotten.
 I hope I can set the record straight. I dont know where he finds all the energy to do all the hobbies and events that he does. Anyway lets hope I create an interesting article.

I am attending Smoggycon next Saturday, so hopefully after that I can start painting my backlog of SYW units. I really want to paint my Stadden Grenadiers prior to Christmas.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Dave Jarvis, Master Painter.

As a plug for my sister blog, I suggest that any casual browser who appreciates great wargames painters click onto the Cesare button and cop a look at some rather wonderful gendarmes. I know it has little to do with my SYW figures, but I think most wargamers appreciate talant.

Monday, 30 September 2013

When Fate is against you...........

I think its fair to say that when things go wrong they really go wrong.
This weekend was to be my annual visit to Derby. Initially I intended to travel down on the Saturday, but a late night in Newcastle on the Friday watching Rod Stewart [ 49 times] led to me creeping back to bed and not driving down.
 I'll go on the Sunday thinks I, so up bright eyed and bushy tailed, into my car, newly washed and fueled, looking forward to a great days shopping and looking.

  Two miles later............


Two miles later, I found myself T packed by a jaguar full of people en route to a golfing tournament.
 My lovely  car is a right off, and I found that fate has a way of kicking you in the cods.
If that wasn't enough, I now find that the driver of the Jaguar doesn't seem to want to play ball and  provide any insurance details. Somehow I don't think he has any.
 Thinking about it, now that I am recovering from the shock of the accident, leaving me by myself with my car up a grass verge, covered in air bag and dazed wasn't really the gentlemanly thing to do, which should have tipped me off to what they were about.
 So unable to grip a paint brush tightly and down to my last four stone of metal figures you realise that some things are not meant to be.
What really capped it all was I had to spend the majority of my wargaming  cash on paying for a low loader to collect my car and bring me home...... The joys of wargaming.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Great Way to spend a Sunday.

Several months ago, I bumped into Charlie Wesencraft at the York Show and I invited him to my home for a SYW game.As things usually pan out, the months dragged on, and things got put back. Anyway, I was finally able to get Charlie over for a game.
 I was also able to get Paul Stevenson along at the same time, I suppose it was the nearest thing to North East war gaming  glitterati one could get. So with John there as well, you are talking of a right group of veteran wargamers.  I wont steal Paul's fire as I know he is writing an article for the Minature Wargames magazine, by describing the battle.
 But it was Charlie's first try of Blackpowder, which proved interesting, and the end result was even more interesting. Instead, I will just publish some of the photographs, with a few dodgy comments.
 Just for the record, John and Paul were in charge of a Hanoverian, Hessian command, while Charlie and I were in charge of the French.

              John looking askance as his entire command failed subsequent command rolls.
A view from the French side, notice the well ordered ranks.

A view from the Hessian side, as one can see, the Hessians had taken a bit of a thumping. 

Charlie, advances the French Gendarmerie and dragoons.

Paul, taking photographs for his article.

Not one of my better ideas, sending unsupported hussars up a road in the face of Hanoverian grenadiers.

Paul opted for a sledgehammer type of move, with little room for maneuver, no doubt he will write something different in his account.

My heavy cavalry command, the photograph actually is deceptive, I never charged the infantry.

Arqubusiers de Grassin, attempting to help my attack, by taking the village.

Charlie, pondering whether it was a good idea to come. At the edge of the table are the French reserve, looking resplendent.

John did actually get his commands to move, and get amongst it.

A view from the Royal Italians.

 Another view from the Royal Italians, perhaps not their best.

Never wargame against an ex Royal Artillaryman.

A staged photograph of Charlie's successful cavalry command.

 A regular sight for my command, retiring from the table in disorder.
I must admit this was a really enjoyable game. Fighting with wargamers who really know their stuff. 
It was a pleasure to chat with Charlie about wargaming, especially when we got him to talk about his first meeting with Donald Featherstone and Charles Grant. The stuff of legends.
Charlie has very kindly agreed to do a sort of interview with Paul and me about his story and also his views on wargaming.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

For the Last Time!

I promise I wont touch on this subject again, well unless someone presses my buttons in the wrong order.
 But I was laid the other night in bed reading my latest Wargames Soldiers and Strategy. The article concerned Lt Leach, winner of a Victoria Cross in the first world war.The article was by a chap called Mark Backhouse, and although not a period I game, I always like to read about different periods.
 As an aside he mentioned that he had recovered from a school skip a series of books titled The Times History of the Great war, which I found quite spooky as many years ago I salvaged from the side of a beck in my village,the self same books. I loved the pictures in the volumes, but being very young, I soon became bored by the text. The books eventually ended up in a school skip! [ I'm only joking] they actually ended up in the local landfill.
 Anyway I will return to my point, in Mark's final paragraph he wrote those words, ''I always worry about glorifying war''.
 A simple throwaway phrase.........
From there I returned to the latest Miniature Wargames editorial by Henry Hyde, where he talks of the latest Bolt Action dice bag displaying the motif of the Africa Corps.
  Henry goes on from there to say that ' some people ' would be offended by this display of a contentious badge. He goes on to counsel wargamers that we should bear in mind that our hobby might be seen in a very different light by some people' [ my words]

The Offending Badge.

So whats my beef,one may ask?
 Well its quite simple really. Has there been a diversity/on message conference recently that some wargamers have attended, and in order to show that they are on message they have decided to become hyper sensitive to ' some people'
 I emphasize 'some people' because this is a group one hears and reads about that are offended by everything. They must be a majority of persons because they can get legislation introduced, and actually get people who are not on message imprisoned.
  Mark Backhouse is worried about glorifying war, so he wargames! Surely if he is that worried, become a monk, or other worthwhile activity.

 Henry Hyde is worried that 'some people' will be offended by a dice bag displaying the badge of the Africa Corps. When my father bought me the Airfix boxes containing the Eighth army and the Africa corps, I'm certain it never entered his head that he was disrespecting his fallen comrades and he had actually fought in the Eighth army against Rommel.

 I'm not saying run around dressed as a guard from Auschwitz, but lets get a bit of balance here. We paint and play with toy soldiers. We read military history books. If 'some people' are offended, give them a voice, let them explain their offense, perhaps then I wont feel like the hobby is starting to be infiltrated by an insidious creeping political correctness which has created an atmosphere of fear and paranoia.  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The passing of a giant.


I think by now most of the wargaming world will be aware that Donald Featherstone passed away after some type of fall at home.
 I cannot write as a friend of the great man, and therefore can only write as a wargamer inspired by Donald Featherstone.
 When I was just starting out in wargaming as a teenager, I would often envy the talk of the meetings in Southampton where some of the great figures of wargaming met to do battle.
 Without Donald Featherstone, Charles Grant, Tony Bath, Peter Young, Charlie Wesencraft and a small band of enthusiasts wargaming would not have taken off the way it did.
 I dont think one can give the total credit to Donald Featherstone, but without his drive, enthusiasm and knowledge I believe that it would have been harder for wargaming to take hold.
 One of my regrets was that I discovered his magazine Wargames Newsletter just as it was going out of business, it has taken me years to collect some of the issues. I still read them and I still find them worthy of interest.
 So 2013 is very significant for two reasons for wargamers', the anniversary of the release of Little wars and the passing of a giant of wargaming.
 Personally I think it would be wonderful if all the wargaming publications could come together and create some sort of award to honour the work done by Donald Featherstone which could be awarded each year to an individual who has done a lot to further the hobby. Just an idea but it would be nice.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A thank you....

I think it is very gratifying that so many wargamers have taken the time to reply to my musings, ie last nights post.
 Its also nice that while we have different views, we [ I mean wargamers] know that playing with soldiers, is really a wonderful but harmless hobby.
Thinking about it more deeply, I have to admit I am attracted by the ' glamour' of war.
What male wouldnt like to don the uniform of Napoleon's Chasseur a Cheval of the Garde.
 Bugger the fact he tried to take over Europe, he knew how to dress his men to look good. It still doesnt make my love of military history and playing with toy soldiers somehow wrong. Far from it really.
 Anyway thanks for all the comments, and yes Andy I will be at Gateshead, hopefully buying more soldiers.
 Which leads my indirectly on to a Kevin Bacon moment, ie favourite uniforms throughout history.
 In Achtung Schweinhund, Harry Pearson [ where is he by the way?] talked of Blandfords military uniforms of the world book and his top ten of uniforms in the book.
 Well, in third place, I have to admit I have a huge soft spot for the uniform of the Grenadiers of the 7th regiment from the kingdom of Naples, ie the regiment Africa, 1812. The white bearskin, and yellow facings always looked the dogs bollocks, ignoring the fact they weren't very good troops.
 In second place is the attire of any Polish winged hussar, especially if they are resplendent in a tiger skin, not really a uniform per se, but its my list.
 In number one spot, and still there after twenty plus years, the Lancer de Berg, original uniform, of white and deep crimson. My definite babe magnet attire.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Miniature Wargames September 2013.

  I must confess that I have always enjoyed the column written by Mike Siggens in the wargames popular press. Love him or dislike him, he always brought up some topic that piqued my interest.      Additionally being a bit of an anorak like him, his tips on paint and brushes were always of great interest to me. Hence the hundreds of jars of paint that I own.
 Anyway and here is the but, his latest 'Thoughts from an Armchair'  Miniature Wargames September 2013, he mentions that he is recovering from an operation, and this has led him to re appraise his wargaming.
 I don't know Mike Siggens personally, but I would suspect that he is of mature years, ie, over 50.
 Add to that having just had an operation, I would think he now realises that he is mortal, hence his look at life.
 That seems fair enough, in fact, I have gradually been rationalising my wargaming, and selling off things I don't really require anymore. Mind I seem to be replacing them with bigger and heavier toy soldiers.
 Anyway the crux of this post is where Mike Siggens states that, ''he now has some ethical concerns about what he is doing.''
 I assume he means collecting and playing with toy soldiers. [ I assume he thinks this is glorifying war]

For me ethical concerns are for things like , starting an unjust war, telling lies in parliament, and cheating generally, ie Tony Blair.

 This ethical concern about wargaming raised its head many years ago, when CND and the other loons saw wargamers as an easy target, hence the banners outside of some wargames shows and the change of name for the Reading show. Then of course we had the brief arguments about colonial/imperialist wars where the native population got a hammering by those terrible Europeans.
 In some ways its a bit like the fracking protests, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Research something thoroughly before you become appalled and protest.

   So I am going to generalise here, but most wargamers are not warmongers, are usually non violent,
[ unless someone picks up their figures by the pikes, ] and are all round decent people.
 A bit strange sometimes, but there should never be any doubt about the ethics of collecting toy soldiers. It is a hobby that encompasses, reading, painting, learning to lose, model making and numerous other skills.  I know some wargamers who won't wargame modern conflicts, and up until a few years ago, I wouldn't wargame past 1870.
 I think that was more to do with the advent of khaki than any moral reason.
I also remember the brouhaha about the Waffen SS reenactors being at Salute, in bad taste probably, but ethically wrong, I dont think so.

 So is wargaming ethically wrong? For me, no.
 I would have been lost without the hobby.
 Have I ever felt I was glorifying war? Never. Trying to understand it perhaps.
 So for me, carry on playing with toy soldiers, and be proud of what wargamers do.
Here endeth the lesson........................


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A small addition to my Austrian forces.

I was lucky enough to purchase three units of painted Hinchliffe figures from E Bay.
I may be wrong but I think they may be by Phil Robinson of 1980's fame, or certainly someone copying his wonderful style. Anyway, I've now completed the second of these units, by adding two extra companies and touching up some minor damage.
 I still love [ perhaps too strong a word] Hinchliffe figures, and can't help collecting them whenever I see some well painted figures. My poorer efforts are tucked away at the rear of the unit. I just couldn't replicate the black lining and grey undercuts of the other figures.
If anyone can actually identify the painter I would be very grateful. I also attempted to keep as much of the original basing as possible, as that was also well executed.
By the way, as means of a plug, I have also added a new post to my sister log. Aut Cesar.......

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