Friday 31 March 2017

Dont fence me in.

Well in between funerals,wakes and a bit of writing I have managed to make some more fencing for my ACW project. I know I am going to need a lot of pieces, so I try to make a few lengths between everything else. I think I must have about four feet of the stuff, which whilst sounding a lot is actually not. I can recommend the use of candy floss sticks, they are a cheap way to build fences, and are very durable.
I've also tried my hand at other types of fencing used at that time. I'm not totally convinced about the look, they seem out of scale somehow, but I will keep experimenting to see how things go.
These were my first attempt at snake fencing. They look okay but look too sophisticated for the actual period. Wargamers are a picky bunch.
I was lucky enough to pick up a second hand copy of the Gettysburg Companion by Mark Adkin. This is even better than the Waterloo Companion and is full of ephemera about the period. I think I might throw in a couple of facts into an odd conversation to sound like I know what Im talking about. Everyone loves an expert.

Thursday 30 March 2017

14th Brooklyn, and Forgotten and Glorious Miniatures.

One of the great things about modern wargaming, is the number of people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is and commission quality wargaming figures and ranges. Minden figures were a good example, and of course the Crann Tara ranges grow anon. So when a new individual commissioned some American Civil figures I had to buy into the project. Forgotten and Glorious Miniatures aren't cheap, they are produced in France and of course the Pound has suffered a bit against the Euro but I like to think you are paying for quality.    
 So I have finished a unit of the 14th Brooklyn who were famous for their French Chasseur uniforms. The actual figures were a pleasure to paint, with good animation, very well sculptured details including the trefoil epaulets, and most importantly great and expressive faces. Given past experiences the unit will probably perform badly on the table, but at least if they run away they will look good as they do so.I cant wait for the release of their Confederates sometime over the next few months. The company produce a Iron Brigade as well, but I already have all the Iron regiments I need, mores the pity. I did however treat myself to their personalities. Absolutely recommended. Further proof that wargaming is enjoying a Golden Age.

Monday 27 March 2017

A Little Rant.

Well I was trawling through my latest issue of Miniature Wargames last night and read with interest the editorial of the latest incumbent, John Treadaway.
 Now I have never met John, but I do know he has been in the hobby a longtime and through his associations with the South London Warlords and local schools he has previously attempted to recruit younger people into our wonderful hobby. He seems a good person who will have also have been granted a DBS certificate before he was allowed to work with children.
 [ Strangely I had to go through the same process a few months ago when I did some work for the Electoral Commission? No children were endangered luckily]
 So it was interesting [well it was for me anyway ] that his editorial was all about a 'tricky conversation' he had with one show's organisers who requested that he not take pictures that might include children who may be attending the said show [ which he didnt name ]
  Now having previously posted on this blog regarding the 'policy ' of the organisers of the Partizan show regarding the taking of photographs of people attending their show, who may not wish to be photographed? my money is on John having fallen foul of the same group when he attended Hammerhead aka the 'Fantasy Partizan' and for which he wrote a review [ a very nice one ].
  I may be wrong and if so I apologise now, but I would lay my pension on it being the same group.
 I seem to remember in the past that certain of the organisers of the show at Newark wrote a contentious piece in Miniature Wargames regarding the lack of diversity in the hobby and why we should do more to be inclusive.
 So perhaps the gentleman has found a new cause to champion, except yet again it appears to be frankly the usual load of bollocks [ My opinion ]
   If one attends Partzan you can actually request a sticker to place on one's stretched tee shirt to state that you are not to be photographed in any event. I'm not certain what would happen if you inadvertently took a sneaky image [ probably prison in Newark Jail ] of such a person but it struck me as ridiculous. It was in 2015 and again at the 2016 show and it looks like it is continuing into 2017.
   Clearly someone has tweaked the fatwa to only concern children [ which in the UK means up to 18 years] and obviously has not considered that the rosy cheeked urchins constantly take images of themselves every few seconds to post for all and sundry to view.
 On one of my final cases before retirement I was given a very depressing lesson in what young children are prepared to photograph in order to be 'liked' and it wasn't attending a wargames show I can assure you readers.
  So once again I will ask the question, why?
 What sort of danger is perceived by the said organiser[s] of a wargames show, to taking an image of a game, which may contain an image of a child actually enjoying the spectacle of grown men playing with toy soldiers. If one is so inclined to a more sinister motive you really really don't have to pay a few quid and go to a wargames show, sadly it is far easier than that.
 [Again I will publicly apologise if it wasn't the organisers of the Hammerhead show, but my money is on them. ] Explanations on a postcard please.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Candyfloss sticks.

  Photographic proof that I havent totally stopped my ACW project. These were from the batch that Jim Sweeney kindly let me have, except I did only minimal touching up of the figures simply because someone had taken a lot of trouble painting some of the figures. The vast majority are the very old Hinchliffe ranges with a smattering of Connisseur thrown in for good measure. I like them a lot.

 These are from my birthday gift from my wife and are the first regiment of Texans using Elite Miniatures. Pete Moreby ic clearly Pete Gilder's successor and has captured the movement in these figures.I know some wargamers don't like them but to be honest everyone is different and has different tastes. Obviously I will need to paint up more Texans to counter the Iron Brigade.
 The images also contain my latest attempts at making snake fencing. I bought myself a large packet of Candyfloss sticks off the internet and to be honest they seem perfect for what I need. Granted they are a tad regular in shape but again I like them. You get 50 bamboo sticks for just under three quid. Whats not to like. Bamboo is a tough wood and should take some rough handling.I have even gone to the trouble of making tenon joints to make the fences even stronger. I always knew my wood working lessons would be of some use one day. So a bit of terrain making for me in the next few days coupled with some 54mm plastic figure painting to complete my Lion Rampant project, oh and I hope to complete another Union unit very soon. Wargaming, a great hobby that is never finished.

Sunday 19 March 2017

Plastic SYW, it will never catch on?

I picked this snippet up off the web tonight, which to be honest is exciting news, but also causes me a few potential headaches.
 Ebor Miniatures who sell some beautiful WSS. figures are looking to diversify into plastic and as the bumf says produce [ hopefully ] Seven Years War figures. If this actually happens then I expect them to be of the same top quality as their metal ranges. Now honestly I dont need anymore SYW figures, but there is a little nagging voice saying [ I need some] 21st Century wargamers have never had it so good, what with this potential release and the Warlord release of the Plastic Landsnects this year my armies will never be finished.

Ebor Miniatures has  commissioned designer Matt Bickley to  work on the first 3 up miniatures which should be ready somewhere this month. Below you can find some more information as posted by Ebor Miniatures - "Matt has done many plastic kits for numerous companies in the past and has a great working relationship with Renedra who will be producing the Kit. Initial thoughts are for a box set of around 36 figures but this will depend on how much can fit onto the sprue. The figures will be march attack with two or three different poses of fixed arms holding the musket and three loose arms to add variety to the poses. There will also be various loose heads and items of extra kit such as bags, boots and maybe the odd chicken to add more variety for those who like a bit of variety. My initial thought was for French which could be used for FIW as well as the European theatre but this can be changed as I am hoping that anybody interested will get in touch at to let me know which army they would prefer first so I can bring out the most popular first."

Thursday 16 March 2017

Two games, two draws!

There are a lot of detractors of the Black Powder rule systems, and I admit they can be like Marmite which I dont enjoy, however as I have stated previously their add ons are good and bring extra detail to the basic ruleset. Last week John and I had a large ACW set do using Black Powder's Glory Hallelujah rule set. I found the battle tense and fun at the same time, and a clear chance for a stunning victory was let down by my poor command throwing as I took the fight to the uppity Union.
 I find that the rules bring a nice balance between playability and historical research.
 So the battle against John ended as a close draw, with my rebels close to exhaustion.
 This week I accepted a kind invite to fight at Paul Stevenson's who kindly hosted another ACW battle. This time we used Paul's 19th Century rules, which are still being tweaked [ although I like them as they are ]
 For me Paul is the nearest person to an expert on the American Civil War, and although I know he would poo poo this title, he knows his subject very well. His 1990 from the Wargaming in History series is still one of the best wargaming books written for the ACW.

  Again I took on the role of the rebels. [ I do like a challenge ] and decided to make things very difficult for my self by deliberately leaving a brigade off table. I then found I kept continually failing a dice roll to bring them on [ best laid plans and all that ]
 The game again was very tense but also very enjoyable, I found the rules more detailed than BP
  [ which is understandable ] but also easy to use. Lets be right if I can understand them, then everyone can. Paul has introduced some nice 'friction' ideas including a Training Test for when you want to get a unit to perform something a little more complex than marching straight ahead.
 My rebels didnt 'do' training as I found to my cost.
 So another great and enjoyable game and yet another losing draw. I feel like Middlesbrough, I just cant score.
 Paul feels they still need a little work doing to them but I hope he gets to publish them soon, they are very good.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Birthday celebrations over.

Well I can now focus again on wargaming matters now that my wife and my birthdays have been and gone. It was a heavy weekend, and I think a big success. The trouble is recovering from a large gathering can take some time. Its an age thing.

I thought I should include an image of my wife and I reliving our Punk days, a la pogo.

Still I cant complain as I got two regiment of Elite rebels to paint, and a re print of The Battle of Bull Run from the Wargaming in History series. Cant wait to read the book.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

The Union grows.

Well my Union army grows apace. However to counter this I have painted a few Perry dismounted cavalry chaps. I have realised however that I have outstripped my rebel forces by concentrating on re painting/rebasing the figures I received from Jim Sweeny and also painting more Union troops without doing the odd rebel ones. Somehow I've painted and acquired 19 regiments of Union as opposed to a mere 10 Rebel. A definite imbalance that will need to be redressed very quickly. So what I have I elected to paint next, another Union regiment, this time  the 14th Brooklyn, modeled and sold by Forgotten Glorious Miniatures. These are a beautiful range of figures and a delight to paint, I couldnt help myself when I first received them, again its a same they provide such a tiny range.But very highly recommended.

My fourth Iron Brigade unit, this time Crusader Miniatures. They are very nice figures, and their unit deals make these a good buy. Unfortunately it is a very small range to choose from.

Finally a rebased, and touched up unit I obtained from Jim. They are a combination of Hinchliffe, Connoisseur and a Dixon officer being shot. They must be nearly forty years old, but I still think they have a life and charm to them.

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