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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

Dioramas.

 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.



Monday, 30 October 2017

Fiasco 2017.

Well yesterday was the Leeds Wargames Club show. Commonly known as Fiasco. The show has been based at the ex Jimmy Saville Conference suite for the last few years. [I cant help myself, I still find it bizarre. Sorry.] Previously to that it had been based across the way at the Royal Armouries.
  So firstly the positives. Well its a wargames show of that there is no doubt. Secondly its based in the North of England which is great for me. Thirdly its usually on the Sunday after the clocks go back, so one gets a lie in.Fourthly there is quite a bit of wargames trade that I like to buy from.
 The Leeds show has maintained its position as a medium sized wargames show run by some friendly Yorkshire chaps who do their level best to make it a success. So whats not to like.
  Now for a few negatives. The actual hall has dreadful lighting caused by having a black ceiling? I suppose its great for cabaret nights and the like, but for wargamers, it leaves a lot to be desired.
 I think I can understand why the Leeds lads hold the show there. as its only across the road from the Armouries, which is a wonderful history museum that everyone whose interested should attend. But the lighting is not good.
 Secondly its £5.00 to get in, which is a lot for what isn't that big a show.
Thirdly the refreshment area is tiny, and yesterday they ran out of Bacon sandwiches at about 11.00! That was a shock I can tell you.
 But these are minor quibbles for me really, but areas that maybe can be improved upon.
 The biggest whine for me, was the paucity of historical games. Luckily James Roach of Olicana fame had set up his Zorndorf 1759 display which is a wonderful thing to behold.
  James is annoyingly not just a great painter, he is also damned quick at creating top quality units. I had a talk to him yesterday in the hope of pinching a few of his secrets. The main one is, he uses enamels! He reckons the coverage is far better than acrylic paint, and if one is lucky enough to see his work one cant argue with the use of oil based paints.
 I can only apologise for the lack of images of the battle. I took a lot, but most came out badly. I blame the light.


 There was a really nice Napoleonic battle in the foyer of the hall, staged by Chris Flowers and the Legendary Wargames group. I think the battle, using lots of 28mm figures was from the 1812 campaign. They were using Grand Manner rules, so one knows how big the units were. The rules are like Marmite for me I'm afraid. But the spectacle was great.


 Another very nice historical game was hosted by Battlefield Design who were showing off their quality terrain boards at the same time. They make very sturdy boards. Again I'm sorry about the crap images.

 Kallistra were hosting an historical game showing off their hex terrain, which always looks very good. The other 16 or so games were small skirmish type affairs which although very popular with the punters are just not my thing. I know its very dismissive and no doubt some of them were very well presented, but they are a different type of wargaming than I am interested in. Still they hold the interest of younger gamers, so crack on.
I met a few old faces and chatted about odds and sods. One thing I did learn was that the Perry twins are going into the pre painted business, not only for figures but also for buildings. Dave Thomas very kindly showed me a few prospective images and I was impressed by the buildings, which were mainly ACW ones.I couldnt really comment on the figures because of, you guessed it, the light.No doubt they will be figures painted to a decent standard, but not by the twins I hasten to add.
   So how was the show. Well I'm pleased to attend any wargames event and it felt good to be there, but I was disappointed by the lack of historical games. I think this disappointment will grow even more in the near future as more skirmish games come to the fore. Still, I know that Battleground in November will have a lot of historical games. Well certainly one. That's mine.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

79th New York.

The key to retirement is ones health. Without that, basic living is crap, but in retirement it is probably the most important thing, even greater than having a bit of cash. The last week or so has reinforced this given yet again. Im not complaining, heavens knows there are so many people worse off in this country, but it does knock the stuffing out of you sometimes. Anyway on a brighter note, I finally finished the 79th New York Volunteers. I really struggled to finish them, whether because I wasnt at my best or that I simply wasnt excited by the castings!
Still they will now take the table thank heavens.I did manage to paint up another Union battery using Perry figures that I do enjoy painting. I dont know whether its the simplicity of the way they are made and by that I mean they just look lifelike and not in an exaggerated way or its the fact that the figures faces are always great to paint. But I do find them a pleasure..
I also completed the final 'rout' markers using the odd Perry figure. I like the way these turned out, again they were a pleasure to paint.This last week I received this months Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated. And although it would easy to twist on about their contents I am determined not to, however one thing has increasingly struck me and that's the real lack of articles with a historical background that a wargamer can use [copy].
Whilst attempting not to hark back too much, its very obvious that the era of amateur wargaming historians is well gone and has been replaced by something, dare I say. More bland.

I suppose it was inevitable. One can only have so many articles on a certain battle before it becomes very tedious but it was a great source of scenarios and one off battles.I have been lucky enough to keep all the early Arqubusiers, Slingshots and Zouave magazines.Each was produced by enthusiasts of a certain historical period, and the early magazines were always full of wargames that could be refought. Some were very good. Now I'm afraid, and certainly in the case of the WI, its an eye catching set of photographs and drawings coupled to some very generic information about some historical event or feature.This month its 'heavy cavalry? I'm not certain who they were aiming at with this months magazine but I cant imagine its the usual subscriber to the WI, well not unless they have been off planet for the last 40 years.I promised myself I wouldnt be too negative so I will stop there. I did like the images of the Crecy game though, all very inspirational. Hopefully this weekends Fiasco show will also inspire me to paint up some new stuff, preferably something that I actually enjoy painting.


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