Thursday 30 November 2017

The final Union Cavalry regiment.

Well I have completed the third Union cavalry regiment , which completes my brigade. I just need to buy and paint a few more dismounted figures.These are a combination of Perry plastics and Perry metal figures.I have one more rebel cavalry regiment to crack off, and then its just a few filler pieces to complete my ACW project. 

An image of the brigade, looks okay to me, but I dont expect them to be very effective against steady infantry.

I couldn't resist buying the old Hinchliffe signal tower. Once I had understood how it went together it was a pleasure to paint.Peter Gilder was a very clever bloke.

Monday 27 November 2017

Battleground 2017.

 Well Saturday was the Battleground Wargames Show at Durham University Buildings in Middlesbrough? Which by the way is in Cleveland. I dont know why the University has buildings there either.
   Leon of Pendraken Games took over the running of the show after the closure of the sports building in Stockton on Tees finished off the wonderful wargames show that had been run by Dave Clemmett and Thomas Davidson since the 1980's. It was one of the very first shows that the Independent Wargames Group staged a game in a foolish attempt to entice the non wargaming public to take up the hobby.
 The old Durham club shows were our first, but that is a whole different story and water now under the bridge.
The event at Whitley Bay in 1983 was the first where we received recognition for our efforts and we even got a mention in the Miniature Wargames magazine way back then, which actually meant a lot, but I digress.
 In those early days, like many wargamers of a certain age we were keen to go virtually anywhere to set up our figures and attempt to draw in the public. Naive yes, but it certainly was a great incentive to paint up stuff for each respective show. I think at one stage we averaged five plus shows a year, stretching from Scotland down to West Yorkshire. Not bad for two daft lads from the North East.It cost a lot, in time, physical effort and hard earned cash. But being young we could manage the effort  fairly easily. However over the years the number of shows we 'did' has shrunk to just one a year. Battleground.
 The reason I have touched on this, is that after Battlegound 2017 we have decided to retire from the display circuit and it seemed very fitting that the ACW game would be our last display staged at a show. I was struggling on Saturday and I know John was waddling around like a man with a broken back, so what is normally a great event proved very trying for us and especially John's son,  Neil who had to suffer the whinging of two old gits.Not good.
 So John and I will only attend shows as viewers of other wargamers efforts and hopefully not offer up too much unwanted advice to the wargamers presenting their displays.
Anyway onto the show. Leon has accomplished wonders in resurrecting the Cleveland Show and on Saturday I thought the lad couldn't get it any better, given there is only him and a bit of help I assume from a small group of friends. Good directions, good venue, free parking, free entry, and free tea to all contributors. The lad done really good. Bigger show organisers should come and see how to do things with no fuss. What was particularly noticeable was the large number of historically based wargames, and not a zombie in sight.
 John and his son Neil, very kindly let me display the ACW armies that I have been painting up these last 14 months.They were originally going to stage an ACW using John's brilliant 10mm figures but agreed to up scale the display. The actual event was very busy and I think the numbers will be well up on last year. There certainly seemed to be a lot of young people and their dads. I was especially impressed by the talk I had with two young teenagers about Plastic Perry figures. The pair were as keen as mustard about the collection they were putting together.If they hadn't been nearly six feet tall and articulate they would have reminded me of me.
 Usually I get to take photographs of all the historical games at a show but it just didnt happen for various reasons and I can only apologise. I do know Neil of the Hunwickian Blog took some great images and I am certain he will put them on his blog.
We were next to Andy Callan who had produced another set of rules, this time for 18th century sieges. This time he was using Spencer Smith figures and his two sides of rules. I was kindly given a set of them by Andy and I know they will be innovative and fun. I wish he would take the trouble to write a couple of articles for the wargaming magazines, God knows they need some inspirational wargaming material.
   It looks like ACW is the flavour of the wargames season with three games on show at Battleground. Shaun Lowery and the Durham Wargames Group who was near us staged a Port Republic 28mm game with figures from his beautiful collection and using Johnny Reb rules.
 Dave Docherty and his posse staged a 10mm ACW game with some beautifully painted figures, but again I can only apologise that I didnt take any photographs. I did get over to the Westerhope Lads, and I use this term very loosely given their respective ages, to see their Clive in India game. It was a lovely game and John had done his usual search through the skips of Newcastle to find other peoples property to enhance their display.
It was good to meet and talk with a number of wargamers that I only bump into at shows and it was especially nice to talk to Charlie Wesencraft who looks ever younger every time we meet.
  So I can only apologise again for the dearth of images, but hope Neil downloads his stuff.
Anyway may I thoroughly recommend the Battleground show to any wargamer who wants a stress free day out. And its free you know.

'So that's all we've got time for, so its Goodnight from me , and its Goodnight from him............Goodnight.'

Thursday 23 November 2017

A new green Union regiment completed for Saturday.

 One thing I always enjoyed about putting on a game at a wargames show was the pressure to complete some unit that would be needed on the day. Invariably it's never needed but it does get one working. Anyway I knocked off this Union regiment to debut on Saturday. Given the newness of them I expect they will run away at the first sniff of combat. They can however use the bits of new road that I have been working on.

In between making some pieces of road, and painting these chaps I 'found' some spare renaissance figures that I never used on my Italian Wars project. I have posted a few images on my other blog.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Battleground Wargames Show TS17 6BH

Just a reminder to all wargamers who would like a final wargaming show fix before the Winter closedown. Battleground is a really good show that has managed to grow steadily into a very decent event. Leon of Pendraken Miniatures has done a wonderful job of taking on the responsibility of running a show at Stockton on Tees after the demise of the original long running show. Entry is free this year, so there is no reason for wargamers not to drag the family along. Bucking the trend for smaller table sized games the show will feature a number of large, dare I say it, historical wargames. So what's not to like. The car parking is free. Entry is free and the show is easy to find with good road links from the A19.

Best of all I will be there with a few of my ACW figures showcasing the Picketts Charge rules, just dont ask too many in depth questions about the rules.[just joking]    

Friday 17 November 2017

Turkish Renaissance.

Just a heads up really but I have posted some images and an account of yesterdays whupping by a Turkish renaissance army on my other blog, Aut Cesar Aut Nihil.It was a lesson in how not to use a Spanish army.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Nearly There.

 Well this is the second Union cavalry regiment cracked off, leaving only one more Union and Confederate cavalry regiment to complete.This one is a mix of Perry plastics and a pack of Foundry command figures.To be honest I would have used all Foundry if they weren't so damned expensive to buy.Still this will do. The Perry figures are quite old now and a little stiff and generic in my opinion, but its a good way to put some cavalry on the table.
 So by my reckoning I have two cavalry regiments and two Union regiments to paint and then that's all my hoard completed.As usual I didn't plan anything and probably painted too many, but it fills the day in and stops me firing off some missive to someone on that awful Facebook.
 And theres the rub. There are probably many hundreds of wargamers nearing retirement and planning the hours they will spend pottering around with the hobby. Well it doesnt work like that although one should be able to find some extra hours per week. I wargame once a week and try to get a bit painting in every day or night. But life does still intrude. I was only able to paint up this unit because my wife is back on her feet albeit not moving too well. All I would say a wargamer in retirement can get more done, but to keep things fresh I would suggest one finds other things to engage you some of the time.Me, I've just submitted my first novel to a publisher and expecting a rejection slip anytime soon, but I have started a sequel just to keep my hand in.  So onwards and upwards.

Thursday 9 November 2017

Additional Rebel Regiments.

Well here's the two rebel regiments that I completed this morning.Because I wanted an extra rebel zoauve regiment I push the historical boundaries to make this South Carolina company into a full blown unit. I couldnt help myself. So before anyone jumps on me for this deliberate slip, sorry.
So my project is moving into its final phase. A few cavalry regiments and the odd extra unit, and some wagons.

I do like the old Foundry range of ACW figures and cobbled together this unit from odds and sods.

                      Finally another diorama piece. I tried to give this one a bit of a story.

Tuesday 7 November 2017


 Having decided to put on a ACW game at the Battleground show at Middlesbrough I thought it prudent to paint up a few little dioramas to scatter around the table. I like to see little focal points of interest on a wargames table. I've found that the public like to see points of interest and its a great way to get talking to them. So what better than an ambulance courtesy of the Perry twins. I must admit it wasn't a pleasure to put together and is more super glue than metal. Still as long as no one picks it up it should be okay.

 For Picketts Charge, John has introduced ammunition wagons on the table to show that the various batteries are fully serviced. Should they use up all their ammunition the wagon is removed.So I have painted one, but still need to make another one. They are from Hinchliffe and are very good pieces, and still good value for the money.
 Still on Hinchliffe I thought I should paint up some draft horses for the Perry plastic limbers. I think they have turned out alright. Again the horses are from Hinds figures who offers a very quick postal service.
                                          And now a few camp scenes.The Tigers cobbler.

                                      A couple of Union figures going about their business.

                                 A Union zoauve officer attempting to understand his map.

                                    A Union surgeon with some patients.At least they are alive.

 And finally a regiment of Union volunteer cavalry.My daughter bought me the castings last Christmas and I finally found time to paint them up. These are the 'Butterflies' of course. A not very good New York regiment.
 So one can see I am back in some sort of painting groove. Actually there are a couple of rebel infantry regiments nearly finished,[probably tomorrow] as well.

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