Sunday 15 September 2019


I was a bit late in getting my copy of Wargames Soldiers and Strategy, [issue 104]  this month. Unfortunately this is not a review of the magazine but actually an observation regarding a small article? written by a chap called Chris King titled, INCLUSION.
 Nowadays such a word is sadly a weaponised one [God I hate that word]

Mr King is one of those worthies that unfortunately seems to inhabit every part of modern life. Clearly by his own admission he feels guilty that he is in a privileged position being White, European [ I assume he meant British] Heterosexual and sadly for him and the vast majority of wargamers? we have had it easy?
 He then takes the position that his article shouldn't have needed to be written [so one could ask why he did write it anyway] and certainly not in 2019, because lets face it we are all so WOKE [another hateful word] and on message.

 Chris has taken umbrage with the way women are depicted in wargaming and the responses that his viewpoint elicits when he comments on their depiction. He then states that should he take his young daughters to a wargames show they will be confronted by images of women that he describes at best as denigrating but normally much worse ie. utterly unpleasantly represented. ie. unrealistic body shapes?sexualised, infantilised and sexualised?? bimboesque etc etc. You get the picture.
 Being a positive, woke chap he then tells the reader things are improving and companies like Bad Squiddo headed by 'Annie' is producing more sensibly represented women.

 An example of a more sensibly represented woman from Bad Squiddo? Another druidess, war dog handler [ who said I dont include women in my wargames?] By the way I love the figure and was very impressed by the range from Bad Suiddo. Note to Chris King, Annie was very proud of her range of sculpted female figures.

Unfortunately he spoils that improving vision by stating that the beer loving privileged wargamer is upset by his [always a man ] inability to display, buy or own his over developed women and show them on his wargames table.Its political correctness gone mad!

                         Three well blessed females. The moral depravity is shocking!
  [Bought from under the counter at Colonel Bill's, a well known purveyor of such filth.]

His argument continues [as they always do] to state that wargamers are effectively excluding women who are disgusted by these dreadful depictions of the sisterhood AND we are also tainting the opportunities for boys and young men to join the hobby because of the failure to depict 'women for men?' by not providing positive female images in a totally wholesome manner so that young men can realise that not all women are 'up for it.'

Of course the article has to include 'race' [where would we be without that thorny subject?] For some reason he cites the example of a wargamer modelling a vignette of a slave market in North Africa' and questioning the morality of the vignette.

To prove his credentials he then throws in the inevitable slogan; 'Keep it civil. Include not exclude!'
Warning the reader of the evil that clearly pervades the wargaming hobby he declares that he has only scratched the surface of the scandal of inclusivity and wargaming.
He then goes on, and on before once more offering us hope by stating; And times [at last] are changing.

And my point?
Well firstly I struggle to understand who this article is actually written for?

Being a historical wargamer, women very rarely get a look in simply because war was very largely a male domain and women were luckily under represented and very lucky they must have felt at times.  Im not one of those people who believes we should socially engineer history so that it becomes basically a huge lie, ie, a black Privy Councillor that was depicted in a new film earlier this year. How can we learn if we don't understand what went before? 

 In my 50 years [ is it that long?] of wargaming the scenarios depicted by Mr King just haven't occurred and if the had I'm very certain one of the thousands of wargamers would have definitely commented upon the event.
 Most wargamers have children or more probably nowadays grandchildren. They are responsible adults. The depiction of a wargamer as painted by Mr King is not anyone I know, in fact I would argue very strongly that what Mr King is depicting is virtually non existent in wargaming.
 And this is the rub because what this article seems to be describing is in fact something that is now identified as wargaming but for me is more accurately fantasy and sci fi gaming where ridiculously modelled warriors, dragging ridiculously modelled weapons that no one could ever lift, never mind use inhabit. The women inevitably are a pre pubescent boys wet dream and are frequently seen on the Internet and in computer games.

 As for the accusation that wargamers need to provide a more positive image where we depict              ' women for men' is so naive and sadly deluded simply because young boys and men are bombarded with real life pornography every day of their lives. So believing a dubious female model will somehow corrupt their pure minds is laughable.
 As for the idea that wargamers somehow exclude women from their hobby. I don't think that's just a female gender issue and certainly is relevant for any would be potential wargamer.

And the point of my post?
 I refuse to be lectured to, we suffer this type of pontificating every day of our lives nowadays.
I certainly don't identify with the wargamer that Mr King describes, white yes.
But privileged?? I wish.
 I love toy soldiers. That admission alone should tell Mr King that any issues I clearly have aren't concerning the exclusion of  women because lets be right why would a woman want to associate with such a person? Its a miracle that war gamers actually have a female partner at all.

As for my latest SPQR project, this is the first time I have owned and painted a couple of naked women so don't feel the need to apologise for their inclusion in my collection.
 I don't believe its political correctness gone mad because like most wargamers I have a pretty decent understanding of taste and morals.
  I dont need anyone telling me that wargaming has an issue. It probably has quite a few, but 'Inclusion' isnt one of them.
 Here endeth the lesson........

Monday 9 September 2019

This post contains gratuitous nuditity.

WARNING; This post contains nudity and jolly nice it is to....
Now that I have more or less completed my ECW armies I can concentrate on completing the two small 'warbands' for the new Warlord SPQR game. 

John and I decided to take advantage of the introductory offer for the SPQR game and after playing two games we have been furiously buying additional units, buildings and animals.
My main warband/army will be the Ancient British. I blame Airfix for this, as it was one of my original armies when I was a teenager. They didnt win many games but were lovely to look at. And of course they have war chariots. Now I have time I will be painting up the maximum number of chariots, naturally.
These 21st century ones are no different although there is more nudity and 'tackle' on show, as there should be. I am still waiting for the Victrix sheild designs which will add to their look.
I picked up these painted standing stones at the Border Reivers show on Saturday. Yes they are fantasy ones but are so nice I couldn't help myself. They complement my female druids courtesy of Colonel Bill's naked women range.
The British are allowed several units of war dogs, I had to have the maximum number
I painted up a couple of Renedra huts yesterday and added a couple of heads to give them a homely look.

My main druid, ready to hex the Romans. In SPQR you can use a druid to downgrade one of the Roman champions virtues.
   My new huts with a semi naked female druid with attack dogs and highland cattle ready to be stolen..

Finally I can say my ECW project is complete. Well untill the next unit.

Well this post marks the completion? of my English Civil War project. 
I started painting units in April 2018 and was sidelined by the painting I needed to do for the Great Game staged in June this year. 
I intend to hold a grand review of the two armies I have completed and strangely I am excited by the prospect of seeing them displayed in their entirety. I say they are completed by I do have several troops of horse to paint, simply because I have them in my spares box. I also have some extra infantry that I will be painting again simply because I have them. 
I bought a small piece for the spare? artillery crew  on Saturday whilst at the Border Reivers show.This is now painted and based.
I have also completed the two extra units of clubmen using Ian Hinds pre painted stock which I touched up a little. Again they are made up of some real veterans of the wargaming firmament.

And now the piece de resistance my new Kings Lifeguard. Sadly I didn't paint this beautiful unit which puts my modest painting efforts to shame. I have been steadily selling off various spare figures and decided to commission a new lifeguard from a top figure painter, Dave Jarvis. Dave has done a wonderful job with figures from Gilder's Rupert's Charge range. I was in two minds whether to gloss varnish these beauties but finally decided that they needed to fit in with my other units and to be honest I like the effect.

Normally I paint or repaint all the figures I get but I knew Dave would do a brilliant job of these classic Gilder figures.Dave used the wipe off oil paint effect for the horses which was exactly what I wanted for them. Basically they are a 21st century version of Gilder's original Lifeguard and I like to think he would have been jealous of them.
So I now have four regiments of the figures from Rupert's Charge in my Royalist army which will be part of Rupert's command, and what a sight that should be. So thanks again to Dave for slipping this extra commission into his very busy schedule. Now if I could only win the lottery to commission a whole army or three.
Looking back I should have finished this ECW project several months ago and if not for my little Napoleonic project they would have been completed several months ago. I have enjoyed revisiting my wargaming past to put these armies together and hopefully they will become well used in the future. What I have really enjoyed is using figures that were originally sculpted in the late 1970's and revisiting them. They are still beautiful figures and in my eyes have stood the test of time. Yes there are a few knocky knees and that's just the horses but they have bags of character.

Thursday 5 September 2019

So Near, yet so Far!

Well its been a while. 
Unfortunately I had to replace my old PC after an electrical storm finally blew its circuits. I then had to wait for my new PC to be delivered and then have the whole thing set up. I am a Luddite I'm afraid and useless with such things.Anyway apart from annoying issues like spell check, Windows 10 etc.
 I am back.

Being of a certain age I have always appreciated the wargaming press and the magazines that have been produced over the years. My favourite remains Donald Featherstone's Wargamers Newsletter. Yes it is definitely dated nowadays and a lot of the small snippets have little use to modern wargamers but I have always cherished the enthusiasm that burst out of each badly produced page. 
 I always loved Don's forthright editorials. He never shirked from calling a spade a spade which given the current atmosphere is just so refreshing and amazingly no one died if they were called a fraud or a cheat!
Unfortunately when it was actually being published I wasn't aware of its existence and only discovered its delights after Don had stopped editing it and the magazine had folded. 
Over the years I have attempted to obtain back issues and have had a certain amount of success but I am still shy of certain copies and several of the early years. 
The nearest I got to completing my collection was several years ago when I was sat talking to the great Charlie Wesencraft who airily told me he had all the copies. I couldn't contain my excitement. There was a caveat and I needed to lie down as he told me how he was clearing things out and threw the lot on his garden bonfire!! 
Anyway recently I thought I had finally sourced my missing copies but they were in the USA. I was however determined to buy the magazines and scraped together the required amount of cash only to be then stuck for the postage costs. The seller, a magazine dealer apparently wanted individual postage for each magazine? My dream was once again shattered as he sent me a bill for over $700 for 20 magazines over 40 years old!
Sadly they remain in somebodies cellar in the USA and all I can do is continue to dream.
Maybe one day.

Progress towards completing my ECW project has been sporadic given how I started a new 'little' extra project; Warlord Games SPQR.
 I have managed to complete two additional Parliamentarian regiments that have turned out very nicely. The figures are Mini Figs and to be honest are really lovely sculpts.    

As a full stop to the project I wanted to have several 'regiments' of Clubmen. I obtained quite a few odd painted figures from Ian Hinds a year or so ago and have used them for the peasantry. They are a mixture of Mini Fig, Hinchliffe, Warrior and Lamming.There will be four separate units. When I say full stop I did fail to mention that I am mid way through basing one Warrior foot regiment to fill out the Parliamentarian army, oh and another artillery piece. It just goes on Im afraid.
This weekend is the Border Reivers Wargame show at Gateshead Stadium. I will be attending and attempting to offload some spare? lead etc. So drop by and grab a bargain. Just remember I am saving for the postage to buy those damned Wargamers Newsletters'.

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