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Monday, 24 November 2014

The Beauty of the Internet.

 This last month, I have been mainly painting Seven Years War troops. I foolishly thought that I had sufficient toys for this period, and sold a lot of my metal mountain at low prices. Well that was a mistake. I have now realised that I need some more. Why one may ask? Unfortunately I cant answer that sensible question, I think basically I was drawn back to the colour of the armies and wanted to paint some of the figures from the new ranges on offer, including Crann Tara, the new Minden stuff and Black Hussar from Germany. That is the beauty of the internet, the world is at the feet of wargamers. These RSM French dragoons came from the USA, even though they had been originally created in England. Minden Miniatures is now based in America, Eureka are in Australia and Black Hussar are in Germany. Gone are the days of writing a letter to a one man war gaming company and hoping that they have cast enough of the figures that you want, now you can actually see the figures real time, you can converse in minutes, and the figures can be here within days. What I think is really great is that any wargamer who has the balls and naturally some cash, can create their own range of figures. Who wouldnt want to have that special regiment, or troops from that one campaign that no company sells. Truly wargamers are blessed [ and no I haven't o'd  on Prozac]

Marshal de Saxe,has always been a character that interested me. Larger than life, very brave and clearly a gifted general he lived life to the absolute limit. By the time of the Battle of Fontenoy  his body was struggling even if his mind was still very active. When Minden Miniatures produced the figure of him in his infamous portable cart, I knew I had to have one. The actual model is very delicate and is a work of art. Unfortunately I was only able to do an adequate job on the model. I also managed to get the colour scheme of his outrider wrong, he actually should be in green pants. So a bit of artistic licence was employed. Still a great model.   

Another bonus for wargamers and the internet, is all the 'how to' advice on the net. On the WSS site, there are a series of tutorial about painting. One in particular is about how to paint standards. Nothing new, one would think. Well on this tutorial, the talented lady paints a standard using Japanese calligraphic paper. The advantage of this is that when it is wet with pva glue, the paper can be moulded into any realistic shape, without tearing, and when it is dry, it stays in that shape.This is my first attempt, obviously not up to the standard of Mark Allen, but not bad for a first attempt.

 Finally, photographs of my next three units. Firstly the Regiment Bentheim, [ Black Hussar]
 My solitary standard bearer of the Irish Regiment Rooth. [Minden.]
 and last but not least, my interpretation of the regiment Deux Ponts.[ Black Hussar]

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Great wargaming Survey.

In some respects this post can be viewed as a bit late as it concerns this months, November's wargames magazines.
 I unfortunately received my copy of Wargames,Soldiers and Strategy quite late through the post, hence this late post.
I dont want to do a comparison of the big three magazines, as really its all subjective. What I may like will no doubt not be what someone else likes.
 I did think that Miniature Wargames was looking a tad sparse and short of articles. Waragames Illustrated  in my opinion looked all fur and no knickers.
Which leads me on to Wargames,Soldiers and Strategy.
   I must admit I did enjoy this magazine this month, but then I usually do enjoy it.What I found of particular interest was their Great Wargaming Survey article.
 I actually sent in my views and I think the response to the survey was pretty impressive coming in at over 7000 wargamers taking the time to complete the survey. I think its fair to say that what came out of it should hopefully be pretty accurate.
 Certainly it is far better than the normal political poll which seems to ask the same small group of dunderheads their views, hence the wildly inaccurate predictions.
 What I found heartening was that whilst there is a higher greying wargames population in the UK and the USA, in Europe things look a lot better with the average age coming down somewhat.
   In fact Worldwide, nearly 70% of wargamers were spread between the ages of 18 and 50 years, so whilst it excludes me I now know that when I shift this mortal coil, someone should hopefully buy my stuff, and I can sleep the sleep of ages, safe in the knowledge that they will be used and hopefully appreciated. So thats a good thing.
 I found it interesting that WW2 was the most popular period. Interesting but not surprising really, given the amount of coverage SKY TV devotes to the Second World War, and in the United Kingdom just how much time is given in schools to the rise of the Nazi party.
 Obviously I think Flames of War must have had a big influence on this period initially and its popularity must have also been influenced by the excellent plastic kits available.
 I clearly sense however that Flames of War is no longer doing as well as it once was. Well certainly from the rumours I have heard about the company.
 Naturally Sci Fi. and Fantasy are the next most popular. Again the once mighty Games Workshop must take some credit for this, but similarly their star is definitely on the wane, and given the loss of talent and their pricing policy things dont look too good for their future.
 A big surprise, well for me at least, was the position of Medieval Warfare in the league. That has got to be a combination of things, including the Saga rules, Gripping Beast, and the fact that you dont need many figures to play the game.
 In fact one thing that has struck me going around the shows this year, was the number of small games on show. By that I mean games on a four foot boards with a small number of castings on show. Not a complaint but just an observation.
 I also found it heartening that the vast majority of wargamers were looking for rules that encouraged the use of historical tactics, so the history was very important and the game less so.
 I wont bang on too much more because most people will have read the article.
 Finally I thought what was particularly interesting was the figure of 72% of wargamers including those that had been gaming many years were very keen to meet new wargamers to play against.
  Now there is an opening for some enterprising chap. All they would need to create is an online wargames dating site, which would put two wargamers in touch with each other.
 Personally I think it would be a great opportunity for the less socially blessed wargamer to kill two birds with one stone and advertise for a wargaming opponent and perhaps an Eastern European partner at the same .Just a thought.....................I wonder if Taylor Swift would be interested?

                              Some colour to finish with, Eureka, Von Bruhl Saxon Dragoons.


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Wild Goose,are now Geese!

 Normally I wont photograph my figures until they are complete, and the eagle eyed will notice I am three figures short at the moment on this unit [are you reading this Graham] but I couldn't help posting this set of photographs.
 This Minden unit has been sat partly painted since the inception of the range, actually started as the Lally Regiment, anyway it has been painted as the Clare regiment as part of my Irish Brigade. I originally found the Minden range quite difficult to paint, but somehow these chaps proved quite a pleasure to complete.
 I now intend to paint up the Rooth regiment to give my Irish a bit more umph, these will be from Graham Cummings excellent Crann Tara range of figures. I think I will add some battalion guns to the regiments, not that I need any more artillery.

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