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Thursday, 15 September 2016

Going Full Circle.

  Eons ago when I was a young wargamer I started collecting my first 'proper' wargames army. Naturally it was a French 25mm Napoleonic army. In those far off days decent information was in very short supply and like a lot of wargamers back then I relied on Blandford books which invariably contained beautiful images of random but colourful regiments. Naturally I painted these units, blithely ignoring the historical orders of battle.
   It wasnt that I didnt want a realistic army containing regiments which fought at specific battles, just the information was in very short supply. I loved the uniforms of the Irish Legion and the 7th 'Africa'  Neopolitan line regiment, so they were included in my army, Corsican Light Infantry, got them, Romana's Spanish Division, yep painted them to.
   It didnt bother me that these were seriously second rate units in reality, they were pretty and were in the Blandford's.
  Eventually as more information became available I replaced these units and finally changed scales, to replace them with accurate regiments, brigades and divisions. Accuracy was paramount. I would research every corps of my growing armies and make certain that it contained the correctly painted regiments.    
  For years I chased this 'wargamers Holy Grail' as if the accuracy was the most important thing in my hobby.  However as in most things in life, you go full circle and with my latest small project I have returned to collecting and painting historical units that bear absolutely no relation to the brigades they actually fought with. I just want  an eclectic mix of the exotic, famous and quirky. Hence the Tiger Zouaves.  Colourful, short lived and probably not that effective, but what the hell.
  I am now painting up Coppens Zouaves to complete my first brigade of the project. Probably not too historical, but they are great to paint. The Tigers are a mix of metal and plastic Perry figures.


             The initial brigade, minus the unpainted cavalry movement trays [ for Neil ]






16 comments:

  1. Looks great, not my period but very nice, my nephew is painting ACW both sides, so I guess I'll be playing with them. Lovely brown uniform and why not paint what you fancy, your not making a documentary.
    Best Iain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good analogy Iain,
      Its strange how in the 1980's and 1990's wargamers were hung up on accuracy, as some sort of goal that would somehow make your wargame more relevant.

      Delete
  2. Very pretty units! Agreed. 100% accuracy, in painting and assembling a wargames army, to say nothing of writing one's own rules (or attempting to do so) that accurately simulate the battles o a given period, is, in the end, a fruitless exercise. Attractive, quirky, unique, and fun are far preferable in both cases.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One cant beat a quirky unit, and lets be correct the ACW had its fair share of fanciful units.

      Delete
  3. Bravo! I took exactly the same approach - "so what" that they may not be entirely accurate, "sod 'em", say I..... :o)

    http://steve-the-wargamer.blogspot.com/2011/09/first-louisiana-special-battalion.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Steve,
      I think when I started to 'do' old school wargaming that I realised all over again it shouldnt be a problem.

      Delete
  4. What a wonderful look! The Tiger Zouaves are favorites of mine for appearance. Have you tried the Iron Brigade? While somewhat muted in appearance by comparison their Hardee hats and frock coats give them a unique appearance.
    Jerry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jerry,
      I am one of those sad individuals who likes 'whimsy'so when I start painting some Union troops I think there will be a few hardee hats, but also some havelocks to brighten things up.

      Delete
    2. Berdan's Sharpshooters? Now they would look good!

      Delete
  5. And you know what Robbie it's only taken us 40 years to realise it doesn't matter 😄 It's a great hobby and our armies are ours to game with and enjoy. Does it really matter we're not quite spot on with brigade and division composition?
    Lovely unit and really enjoying your ACW project

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Graham,
      being retired and getting older can be a liberating thing,... so maybe wargaming naturism next eh?

      Delete
  6. They're lush! And I agree wholeheartedly with you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great unit. I have the Tigers also (Old Glory figures) and I chose it for the same reasons! Quirky and colourful. They always attract a lot of attention (gunfire) on the table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fully expect them to rout on their first appearance.

      Delete

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