Sunday 27 November 2022

Battleground, or how to stage a Wargames Show.

 As I stated I was attending the Battleground Wargames Show at Middlesbrough yesterday. Its probably my favourite wargames show that Ive been attending since it was first staged in a chapel in Stockton on Tees. The show has always been a friendly affair that signals that Christmas is coming for me. After the original show closed Leon from Pendragon Miniatures took on the responsibility of re-locating the event and basically restarting the whole show. He has done a wonderful job, that runs like clockwork and always includes new traders, different games and is located in a great location with free parking, easy access and of course ts free entry. 

Yesterday was the busiest Ive seen it, and continued all day.   Leon had invited 31 traders and apart from the usual big traders also introduced new ones with different wares to sell. 

And there is the Bring and Buy, or in my case the Bring and Give Away. John and I hired a table to sell off part of my burgeoning pile of wargaming ephemera. But as usual I ended giving some things away, simply because I didnt want to take them home, or in the case of the Westerhope Group, knowing how grim things are north of the Tyne, they need all the free help they can receive. Unfortunately as is the case I ended buying more stuff from the same bring and buy, but the offers were just too good to miss. 

           Andy Callan attempting to explain to a punter that the Deluxe rules dont cover the musket period.

Andy and his brother Ian were hosting a Never Mind the Billhooks Deluxe game and a bring and buy stall and very kindly alerted me to a gamer selling boxes of Wars of the Roses troops at ridiculously cheap prices. I managed to buy seven units of nicely painted figures. Did I need them? Of course not. Did I enjoy the thrill of reviewing them last night, damned right and I cant wait to re-base and touch them up.

Later in the day I also bought a few? Medieval Mini Figs that were very nicely painted by a gent who brings units every year that are used to practice his art skills. His 54mm are top quality.

The show is also a great opportunity to meet up with wargamers I only see rarely nowadays. So once we've discussed our latest ailments I do manage to talk about toys. Its a great way to spend a day.

And the games? There have always been some quality games on show and when John and I put on games, it was always a battle to out do the other gamers who would fight it out for the trophy. There no longer is a trophy but the games were very good.

The exiles from the Durham Wargames Club staged Pavia, using in the main Colin Ashston's big renaissance collection. There was some quality buildings that I would like to own. I do like to see big renaissance games and this had lots of colour.

I liked a smaller game based in the Holyland and I can only apologise for not having the name of the group.There were some very nice painted figures on the table.

A Lord of the Rings game using Dragon Rampant, an interesting idea that worked.

One can always rely on the gents from the Westerhope Group to stage something colourful and different. I loved the game which showed the British in India. The lads always have some nice relevant exhibits at their tables and this year included a standard and cannonballs.

And now a plea; Is there anyone that can give this homeless chap a home. He doesn't need much space, but he can be annoying. He answers to 'John', or 'Oi you cheeky beggar'.

I was very impressed by a very neat early World War Two game, great units and quality terrain.

The lads from one of the Tyne groups staged a very large Battle of Bautzen game.Lots and lots of figures spread over a very large table.15mm I think.

The Grimsby Wargames Club always deliver and their ACW wargame was up to the standard one expects. Lovely terrain and some brilliant vessels. Well done.

The members of the Newton Aycliffe group really pulled the stops out and staged a siege of Barnard Castle. The whole thing oozed top quality modelling and beautifully painted medieval figures. Can I say that the representation of the castle is pretty accurate, yes its now a ruin courtesy of the Civil War but a lot of hard work clearly went into making an accurate representation of what once stood near the river.

Gerry Miller, top painter and group member attempting to sell more of his figures to some naive punters.

So thanks again Leon for all the hardwork your little team put into the show. The whole event was exactly how a show should be run. Great value, easy transportation access, free parking and decent but great value food with lots of trade and lots of decent games
. Basically everything a wargames show should be about.  

Monday 21 November 2022

The End of the Campaigning Season.

This weekend marks the end of the wargaming season for me. The Battleground show in Middlesbrough was always the final show Id attend. Ive always enjoyed the event and when Leon from Pendraken took it over it has returned to the brilliant event it used to be. Its free.The parking is free and the day is a great way to bump into old faces and generally have a good day talking toys. So yes I'll be there and hopefully giving away stuff at the Bring and Buy to new wantabee wargamers.

Without singing their praises too much, I love the original Bretonnian archers. They are easy to paint but were well sculptured and perfect for additional Billhooks and Lion Rampant units. So I sourced a few more. These are for Billhooks and are John Neville's men. 
                     The spare ones are perfect skirmishers for my Burgundian army. Ive been experimenting with a new way to paint white, so one can see the white is a blue tinge. Years ago I used a similar shade for my Aztecs. I liked it then and like it now.

Finally my contingent of heavy cavalry for Lion Rampant. These are The Bishop of Durham's men, and because Ive got a lot of spare figures I will be painting up a larger contingent. 

My first three completed figures from the box of Dungeons and Lasers figures I bought at Fiasco. For anyone interested in the box, they contain 62 figures made from a decent quality plastic. One will need to read the instructions first because they will need gluing up. The casting quality is very high and once you understand the instructions, they're a bit like Ikea by the way, even a Gibbon like me could manage to put them together neatly.

 I really like the figures, even the small number of fantasy ones. They also come with some first rate bases, again well sculptured and in high quality plastic.

This one, has a small gold coin in his hand, whilst he has a leather purse in the other. 

Also from Leeds, I bought an undercoated First Corps elephant, minus any crew or tusks. It only cost £3.00 so was happy with the purchase. Anyway Ive now supplied the model with teeth and crew, albeit a tad anachronistic but Im happy with them, which is all that counts.  

So I now have three pachyderms that just need a pile of sarrisa bearing troops to go with them.I have the figures, unpainted but not the inclination to glue them up yet.  


Thursday 3 November 2022

Some of this and a little of that.

It seems I complete painting my units a bit like buses and that is probably due to me not painting as regularly as I used to, God knows why. 
At the weekend I attended Fiasco in Leeds and enjoyed the experience, not because of the games, but for the retail experience. I attended with the intention of buying some Colour Party paint and ended up with all sorts including the box below. 
Do I need to make a load of medieval civilians, probably not, but the figures just looked too tempting to resist. Anyway, there are various military figures included in the box, so I had to have them. Luckily Dave Thomas kindly discounted the box a little, so effectively I was saving money.   
The actual show was good although the lighting never helps. I really feel sorry for all gamers and traders as the lighting is notoriously bad. But the venue is first rate, with good parking and of course the museum nearby. I didnt bother attempting to take any photographs simply due to the lighting.
 As a show, the club always attempt to invite trade that one doesnt normally see. You always seem to get some decent bargains and one always gets a friendly welcome. My favourite game The Yarkshire Wargamer's Italian Wars, great eye candy.

 My Lion Rampant army? is growing exponentially, and its simply because the rules are excellent and Im enjoying painting my units.These are my latest cavalry.  

I cannot help buying badly painted old figures. Sometimes they're cheap, most times they are not. I managed to buy quite a few very old Garrison Immortal infantry, when I mean old these figures must hark back to the 1970's. They are small, made of pliable metal and look out of place next to my Victrix Persians, but I really enjoyed repainting them. Bright, brash and probably non historical. Perfect really. 

I also picked up a load of light archer cavalry. Mini fig riders on Hinchliffe ancient horses. I bought them because the horses had been painted very well, using the old oils system. Once touched up and based they have added a great generic unit.

More golden oldies. This time Hinton Hunt 30mm medievals. The standard bearer was originally an artilleryman. Now they are one of my leader options for Lion Rampant.

And just to prove Im not a total dinosaur, my latest archer unit, utilizing Footsore miniatures with one Claymore casting. As one can see, there are a few Robin Hood figures in the unit, hence the Hollywood style green outfits. Well thats my excuse anyway. I must admit theyre not cheap, is anything? but very good to paint. So a productive period and I still have one more show to attend. So get yourself along to Stockton at the end of the month, a great way to end the year.


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