Wednesday 27 May 2020

On a Lighter Note.

 On a lighter note from griping I found this Hinchliffe set in my scrap box. I think I bought him about ten years ago in Scotland. Unfortunately there was no dais but the King of Kings is perfect as my C in C for Sword and Spear. Yes he is a bit crudely painted but the figures are well over thirty years old and Im even older.

 Two Persian sub generals to prove I actually own some new figures these are from the Mortal Gods range, in all their 32mm glory.
 Another couple from another scrap box and stored for a rainy day as it were.I haven't a clue who made these figures but they are very good sculpts and a pleasure to paint.

 And finally a couple of Garrison goodies that were spares from the couple of foot regiments that Rob Young very kindly cast up for me. So a couple of foot generals for Pike and Shotte.
To be honest I haven't just painted these few figures but the remainder are figures that belong in larger units yet to be completed fully.
 So I am still painting albeit a tad slower because of the weather and the lock-down which has become tedious to say the least.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

When Ignorance Isn't Bliss.

In an attempt to keep myself from slowly going mad I foolishly 'joined' a number of Facebook groups that interested me.I say foolishly because of all the ephemera that goes with joining any Facebook group. Anyone offered a Russian bride daily?
 Im not going to name names because in the main the people who contribute are decent wargaming souls and are in the same boat as me.
 But what is very very obvious is that a fair percentage of postees? and members of these historical groups dont possess the inclination, wit or whatever to research the period they are collecting figures for.
  Basically they cant be arsed.
 Im going to put my old git hat on here so I apologise now, but when older wargamers started out, information on regiments, personalities, generals, wars and even periods was difficult to come by.
 Information if found was shared whenever possible to other wargamers, sometimes in a 'know it all, arrogant sort of way' such as when an 'expert' assured me that the Russians no longer wore bicornes at Austerlitz? but then in the main it was shared with a view to helping other struggling wargamers.

 Who can remember the excellent Uniformo page provided by Military Modelling? I still have the compendium they provided and still like to thumb through the magazine for inspiration, but I digress.

 So getting back to the would be historical wargamers.Its clear that they think all they need to do is buy a load of unpainted figures for whatever period and then paint them, that is until they realise they havent got a scoobies about what they are doing.

 'Amongst the questions asked have been some pearlers;

Did Napoleon ever go to Spain?'  ...Just on holiday. [Sorry its what I thought for the answer]

'Did the Garde or cuirassiers ever get used in the peninsula?'

 'What is the funny rolled up thing strapped to the box [cartridge box] at the back of the figure?
 [A tampon]

'Is there any information on the Bavarian Army!  and did they fight for Napoleon?'


Most experienced wargamers and I include myself here actually like to help where possible but considering just how many wonderful books and sites are available out there you really have to question what is going on.
  Please accept that lockdown has become a real chore which could explain why my usual good humour has been tested but surely if one is going to spend money on the hobby one would think you would embark on a bit of research BEFORE you bought the figures.
 I've used some Napoleonic examples but there have been some corkers for other periods.

I appreciate that we have generations used to being spoon fed and coddled but apart from creating groups of people who really arent very good in any sort of crisis it doesnt make for knowledgeable wargamers who love the hobby for so many reasons and not just because of the figures, and dont get me started on rules and tactics that some would be wargamers seem to find acceptable and advocate.

Friday 15 May 2020

Greeks and Persians.

During this lock-down I have attempted to paint units, terrain etc that would be of use to my existing armies. The thinking was simply that Im not sure I needed a new set of armies to buy and paint up given that I have a lot of units that have not be used in battle.
 Normally I rely on John to suddenly produce a new set of rules he has bought and then have a small game with them that may lead to me buying and painting up some units to play, using the new rules. If I dont like them I will simply not bother although to be honest that rarely happens. 
 However during this imprisonment John has been play-testing the Sword and Spear wargame rule book and because of his recommendation I treated myself to a set. I know they have been around a while now, but its a longtime since I possessed Ancient armies and didnt expect to be owning some new armies anytime soon.The rules look very playable.
 So guess what, here are my first new ancient units. When I was a young wargamer I owned a large Achaemenid Persian army using Garrison and Hinchliffe figures inspired by the massive ancient Persian army of Derek Sharmen the then owner of the Wargamers Den in Durham City. 
 Derek was a bit of an expert on Persians and his army was a host of obscure units ranging from Indians to Ethiopians painted black and white and armed with little else. Naturally I will need an opponent for the Persians hence the Greek hoplites. These are my first batch so please excuse the shields. The transfers are a bugger to put on the shields.The figures are from the great Victrix range and are lovely figures.

The long awaited Wargames Atlantic Persians were released a week or so ago and I got my pre- ordered box from Caliver. They are surprisingly good quality figures and well sculpted. The plastic is different from Victrix, Perry and Warlord but paint up well. Normally I splash the paint straight onto the plastic figures but with the Atlantic ones I would recommend that they get a wash with some soap and water. Im hoping that with the relaxation that Victrix will be releasing their Persian figures very soon. 

 Naturally I couldnt just concentrate on the ancient period and dug a couple of renaissance figures out of my store. I simply fancied having another cleric to attach to my renaissance armies. To be honest I wanted another beautiful standard on show using Pete's Flag range.
 I hope to make real progress with the ancient project so I can get back to painting my newly cast Garrison English Civil War figures very kindly created by the old companies owner, Rob Young. They are quality figures.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

People who influenced your wargaming 3.

 It was inevitable that I would select Charles Grant for my 'people who influenced my wargaming' posts. When I was struggling to understand what wargaming was exactly about in the late 1960's and early 1970's I managed to buy a copy of the Military Modelling magazine which contained an article written by some wargamer called Charles Grant concerning how to fight a Napoleonic Wargame. I was hooked from the onset as each month this man produced pages of information concerning the rules for fighting such a wargame and illustrated by black and white images of wonderful terrain and figures by someone called Peter Gilder.
 In the same magazine it was mentioned that Charles Grant had written a book simply titled  The Wargame and rushing to my library I ordered the said tome. I dont think Im colouring the memory too much when I finally obtained the book and found I couldnt put it down. I knew little of the period wargamed by Charles and his son but the whole account of fighting with imaginary Seven Years War armies captured my imagination like no other book. The sight of a purpose built table fielding large numbers of wargames figures and wonderful cavalry literally blew me away.

 Even now some fifty! years on I still paw over the book enjoying the images and wonderful writing of how to fight a large wargame. What dreams I had imagining owning such a wargames table and figures and back then I was desperate to command a regiment of Arqubussiers de Garssin, clearly a favourite of Charles Grant.
 I finally achieved this ambition some 35 years later when I finally bought the unit sculpted by Eureka Miniatures..I still think the original Spencer Smith plastcs were better than my metal figures.
 The rules themselves I realised would never be suitable for me, simply because back then I had neither the money or the space to create such a eye catching spectacle, but they were the ideal I aspired to for many many years.
 What I discovered was the enthusiasm that coursed through the writing in all of Charles Grant's books and what was very clear was the amount of knowledge involved in the writing. He didnt provide a scholarly lesson in military history but one knew the man had a deep knowledge of the period he was describing and had clearly researched the subject when producing his rules. It was using his list of references that I was able to read around the subject and understand more about the warfare being described by him. I now own all of the books listed by Charles Grant in the Wargame and the information contained in these books is still very relevant.
 I am lucky enough to own all the books he wrote and most of the articles he also wrote for the various wargames and military modelling magazines. All of them are an enjoyable experience and provide any novice wargamer with the information they may need to fight a period covered in the books.

 So for my third and one of my most important choices for influencing my wargaming I would like to thank the late Charles Grant again for all his endeavors and steering this novice onto the true path to wargaming heaven. I know we wont see his like again in wargaming.

Saturday 2 May 2020

A bit of this and a bit of that.

Well its a right old mishmash of figures that I have been painting these last few days. These lovely Victrix Numidian cavalry have been sat for several months in my spares box. I bought them for my SPQR units but couldn't face putting them together at the time.
One of the very few advantages of the lock-down has been the willingness to take on jobs one would normally put off. This unit is one such job. There will eventually be 12 riders and Victrix should be applauded for selling such a great looking set of figures. I painted these up between painting my garden shed and power washing one of the patios, they were a welcome relief.
Im pleased they are nearly completed.


Naturally I have returned to the ECW and managed to scrape together enough Garrison, Hinchliffe and old Mini Figs to make up a Royalist regiment.I really wish I had more Garrison figures because they have a real charm, so anyway my final Royalist infantry regiment, well until I locate some more Garrison figures.They represent a conglomerate of two Royalist regiments that were too small to act as separate units, so really very appropriate.

Stuart of Colonel Bill's fame sold me some lovely ECW personalities that he had commissioned when the World was still open.These are top class figures with some real character. The design is quality. I must confess I have a lot of little dioramas, single figures etc for each period in my collection.I find they keep me sharp as regards painting and make a nice change from painting several uniformed chaps that can become a little boring sometimes.

     I especially like this poor woman with a scolds mask on, those were the days.

                    I really enjoyed painting this tinker figure selling his wares from a large tray.

Stu is selling some really interesting figures that are perfect to adorn solo, skirmish and large wargames. Definitely recommended.
Finally this ACW Limber. I must confess I purchased this from E Bay ready painted but in need of some love and attention. The wargamer who originally put this Hinchliffe piece together had gone to the trouble of creating paper reins etc for the limber. They needed refurbishing but again lock-down time has allowed me to take the trouble to do it justice. Its a lovely piece and a credit to Frank Hinchliffe and Peter Gilder.
So these are my latest offerings but unfortunately I need? to get back to painting my fence!

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