Thursday, November 26, 2015

Never Sell Your Toys

For you shall someday want them again.

About three years ago I had a large pile of plastic Spencer Smith ACW Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery.

There was probably enough of everything to build complete armies for the Union and Confederate sides. With sufficient leftovers to do things like staff groups, crews for paddle steamers, fortress gunners, engineers and all that.

Naturally I sold it all off as I had decided to do ACW with my Tradition 25s. At the time a difficult decision as I had really liked the look of John Preece's collection shown in The Wargame Companion and absolutely agonised over the choice.

Now of course I've gone and looked at the pictures again and thought well, you know what, I'd really like to do a few.

Learn from my sad example.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Experiments with Flats

I've recently been playing around with an idea for a war game inspired by Harry Pearson's article in MW after the change in management.

As you can see, I've been trawling about on German eBay for flats.

I'm not getting too hung up on figure ratios and all that sort of thing. As far as I am concerned, one stand is a squadron, battalion or battery. To my eye about four cavalry look good, as do a dozen infantry or a single gun.

Things are not too far along at the moment; I'm really just playing around with the aesthetics of the thing. That said, I envisage using mini dice to record combat attrition. I also envision using written orders that may be deviated from through the expenditure of initiative tokens. Different armies might have different numbers of them to expend per turn. I would expect the Prussians to have more than the Austrians who, in their turn might have more than the French.

Any feedback would be highly valued.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Valiant Miniatures Fallschirmjager

 I have a deal with my nephew.
I give him figures. He assembles them. I paint them and hand them back.

Here's the latest batch. Rather enjoyable to paint in the old wash and line technique. But I should have painted their chin-straps... And I wish they had more riflemen options and replaced at least some of the MG42s with MG34s

Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Diversion

Due to some home renovations severely impacting my available hobby space (!) I've consequently downsized my hobby efforts. This state of affairs ought to last until about Christmas.

So, then, i needed something o occupy my hands and mind but which needed to be quite self-contained. I have had a small collection of 54mm knights from the first "Knights of Agincourt" Britains range that have been nicely recast by Dorset Soldiers. These are pretty suitable for painting one at a time out of my small painting tray.

So, of I went and here's the first fruit. Sir John Chandos.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

A Glorious Cavacade (and a small Cannonade)

 Not all has been connoisseur toy-soldier nobbling and John Garrett reading, oh no, no, no! Here in the Duchy of Alzheim, we believe in the virtues of hard work, buckling down to it and of course, getting on with things. So, in that vein, a small reveal of the fruits of my various labors.

Starting with the freshly-mounted CR#5, you may note that I have splashed out and bought the riders in from another painter with some money I was fortunate to receive for my birthday back in March. Well done Rich from DPC. I am well pleased with his tiny troopers as they sit astride my own horses. I have no fears they will not fight for me as those I myself have painted. My own generalship is far more likely to let me down.
My current butterflies have led me to the 7YW for the now, and thus I am inspired to get on with my Prussian Cavalry arm. Here (along with the Cuirassiers) we have the current state of affairs. HR#1 and HR#5 both provisionally complete but for a single wretched casting I was short for each. Nonetheless, close enough for now.
 The artillery has long needed limbers and so I have cranked a couple of out. I am just painting up another team or two to draw them as we speak (so to say) and am waiting on the first wash to dry before i paint their manes and harness.
 They do look the part, do they not?
What's next? hard to say. I have a regiment of dragoons who need a bit of a spruce-up before I will be happy t add them to the order of battle and a further half unit of von Kleists dragoons likewise in need of a little tidy up and a small reinforcement. That will bring me to two each of dragoons and Hussars and a single unit of Cuirassiers. I guess one more of Cuirassiers is in order and we might be about done for the Prussians. Although...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Alec Harrison

 I sometimes think that with two large 18th Century armies, a large Colonial army, various WW2 forces, quite large Ancient armies and so on and so forth if my days of building huge forces of 7-800 figures a side might be drawing to a close. Obviously this is nonsense, but if it were ever to happen (and there is yet time, I am but a mere lad of 47 years) then this is one diversion for my declining years.
 I was leafing through my old magazines over the weekend. What better way is there to pass the time these bitter cold winter nights, I ask you? Anyway, in between glasses of Shiraz, I came across these articles featuring the work of one Mr Alec Harrison of the BMSS in the March 1988 issue of Military Modelling and the inestimable Practical Wargamer of January/February 1994
His work is utterly charming in my eyes and has the advantages of using 30mm Willie figures, all converted to one degree or another yet retaining that certain poise of the originals. It has been a fun process trying to work out the original figures and I am tempted to say that much that may have been in the original catalogue may not now be there. I am lookng especially at the Gensdarmes above, although they have since turned up again as remastered figures in the Tradition Catalogue. The wheel turns again.

I would like to try my hand at this kind of thing at some time in the no too distant future. I just need to lay in a stock of lead foil and learn how to solder.