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Welcome to Big Andy's Blog.

Hello this is my first attempt at a Blog. Hope you enjoy my ramblings. Andy

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Is it me or ......

Parliamentarian Dragoons- Colonel James Wardlaws regiment- fought at Egdehill .
 There are lots of things about this hobby that leave me completely  cold. Competition playing being only the most obvious- though it was not always thus. The actual mechanics of  gaming being another, I know that some of you get an adrenalin rush from the actual game play - but I for one now very rarely approach the actual dice rolling with anything more than mild interest. Yet there are chaps out there who view the dice rolling as a life or death experience- Oooh- ing and Arrgh- ing over every 6 or 1  by gum its  positively childish - come on chaps you aren't ALL  6 years old. all of the time
 Mind you the whole of life is starting to look like that- witness the "we're gonna make 'em squeal" from some recently elected Republican Bimbo gracing our TV screens as we in the UK suffered the US mid-terms. Is that kind of triumphalist nonsense the right way for a "serious" politician to behave? Not that she was unusual- just a tad extreme- you get the same here - just a bit more muted thank God. Yet the overplaying of emotion is now the norm in many places, it is as if we are supposed to behave like  spoiled brats    therefore many do.
  That - as far as "popular" culture is concerned  over emotionalised over hyped  light-minded fluff  is now expected to take the place of actual thinking has been the case for some years. The idea that fads and fashions are more important than actual progress in any direction is now something we live with in most walks of life-
 Witness Professor Brian Cox  highlighting the change in the broadcasting of science programmes on TV  in the 1970 and 80 with such giants as Prof Bronowski (The Ascent of Man- I still have his fine book)  and James Burke or Carl Sagan  with thier 13 episode series  and the 3 or 4 episodes more likely in a series of today.(Not to mention that shazam-kapow  special effects often take the place of  the actual points being made)  The public attention span- even of those actually interested is shorter it seems or it is perhaps the attention span of the programme commissioners- who want to do another X-factor for the ratings war(Gawd 'elp us).
 Parliamentarian Siege guns. Formerly in the Peter Gilder collection . Part of the load I bought from DC. They have recieved a little TLC-mostly dust removal and a few repirs.

 In our world-  Witness the number of "games" that are now out there. We are no longer it seems supposed to call them "wargames rules" or rules for a given period  - they are "games" even when they are not "wargaming lite"  . This of course means that when you catch 'em out with some piece of poor research or  crappy army lists they can whine "Well its only a game" as their ultimate- and perhaps only defence. However I do not altogether blame the "Games Corporate Dudes" for this. As so  often we do this to ourselves. or is it " the public wants what the public gets " -  I'm never sure . but it does seem that many are  more secure about their hobby the more lightweight and brain free it is.
 This I really don't get at all .
WANTING to be thought of as  thick and or childish ????
 Give me a break !!
It is as if I'd be better off reading the ladybird book of Cavaliers and Roundheads rather than say Reid or Young  or Woolrych or- perish the thought- actual sources from the actual period . Has the mainstream become so lightweight that this is now the norm- or as I suspect is there no real mainstream anymore. As the hobby becomes more diverse the public face- and yes this is about public face is no longer the "best" but merely the loudest or most currently fashionable that is seen  to be the "in thing"  hence the popularity of WW2 currently - around a third of the games at Donnington from  6 years of Military History- most of that third actually form 2 years.- albeit a rather crowded 2 years !Or the number of assorted GW- a Like "games" you see at  shows- all looking very very similar except perhaps for the logo of the "Not GW at all" outfit running the game. the accent being on game- therefore in theory more "accessable" - read more sales potential . An incident at Donnington brought this into focus- Daddy had brought young Tarquin to the show  they were observing the rather fine Vietnam game put on by my mates of the Border Reivers club . Daddy in hs wisdom opined that the "Good guys"  had to catch and kill the "terrorists" . and that was wht it was all about- lets go and see the Space Orcs ... . Now Daddy hadn't been around when Vietnam was  going on and had obviouly been asleep when as a young lady once of my aquaintance puut it "We did that in History"   so like any good father he  spread the BS but it did make me wonder. People just seem to take less notice of the world than they used to and have less desire to know . One is forced to wonder why this is. .
However back to the plot- if there is one ....
Close up of the battery- the gabions are mine from vaious sources. The cavalry behind the guns are Hichliffe- from the Gilder collection . These were a bit battered and needed a couple of hours work  but you'd be a bit battered at 40 !. The Old Glory Dragoons are only a bit bigger and I can live with the size differential as both ranges have movement and style.  Unlike so much of todays stuff.

 Lets face it GW  has everything the  teenage boy of any age could want- especially if he is 47 and  still lives in his mothers attic and has no real life to go to . It has blood and torture and nastiness and more blood- even a bit of cannibalism ...all very juvenile Check out - if you can be bothered- I was "relatived" into this- the painting tutorials- now the chap is a very  good painter no argument  but what a smug  self satisfied git he looks ... "Don't forget to shake the paint !" - with hand motions yet ! . At this point my laughter was unrestrained ! - I assume you don't need a picture !
 It would be sad if it wasn't all so bloody samey-  like the recent survey in WSS- Robbie Roddiss has commented more fully on this  but is less cynical than I- after all we are now supposed to call the Renaissance "Pike and Shotte"  after the overpriced warlord set so the thickies will know what it is- "Old West" is now a proper period but the Dark Ages has disappeared - subsumed perhaps into medieval  to boost the popularity of that period-  so now Henry V and  Jean Le Bel are the same period as Ragnar Hairy -Breeks- a mere 400 years and an awful lot of culture  separateing them  from each other. whilst such murderous thugs as William Bonney and Harvey Logan (Billy the Kid and Kid Curry)  get a period of their own and are sanitised   and made  the heroes they were not. . This is doubtless the influence of movies - and perhaps "historical Novels" which is highlighted in the survey and which to be honest I found  less than wonderful .
 Can't think of a single movie that has made me want to game a period- and yes I'm a bit of a movie buff . The nearest would be the 2 verions of Henry V- but then I was already a medievalist who loves Shakespear so how much did that obtain,? Likewise historical novels- I have a few of the classics- Mist over Pendle springs to mind and of course Rosemary Sutcliffe but much of the modern stuff just leave me cold Cornwell gets samey after a dozen Sharpes and Scarrow is simply Sharpes Romans- I droppes out after 3 . They are just so wearisome and samey. The Matthew Hervey novels are significantly better- the language  is more precise and period for a start and Matthew Herey is no superhero but even they are getting a bit repetitive.
 No  apparently we must simplify to make it easier for the proles to understand. This is at  best patronising at worst downright insulting- but again we do this to ourselves. You keep buying the mags . Enough of you subscribe - and do it loudly - to the army list and points value crap.  Its your fault.  you ask to be spoon fed. .
Yet having said that the survey did point out that a good proportion of the readership  did still like to research their chosen period  so it's by no means all bad news. There are still blokes out there who subscribe to the "Compleatt Wargamer" idea(apologies to Isac Walton)  I was pretty pleased by this .
This is GOOD NEWS.
Perhaps we'll see the results of some of this research in the pages of the glossies instead of more droning on about how to roll a dice  or tedious scenarios for rules I've never heard of ......

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Next up from Drabant.

 I have recently recieved this picture from Nick at Drabant of the new Norman Crossbowmen set . Well up to the standard you expect from Drabant

Not really anything else to say here  except that I'll be getting stock in as soon as I can along with re-supply of otrher Drabant models in both 40mm and 28mm

Sunday, 2 November 2014


 Big Andy is Back in the Game!

Tremble ye Mortals???

Shazam- Kapow -Zowiee... Well almost . the NEW Old Glory UK website is now live . Its been a fraught month getting this sorted but I know it will be worth it. 

 As thse things alway are  it was slower than I'd hoped by  a good  fornight but "thems the breaks" I suppose and yes its been a total bugger doubtless casuing much sniggereing from the competiton  but hell if you are in the trenches sometimes you get shot at. And of course Big Andy shoots back..
The new site  has features the old one didn't-  Aside from the 3000 odd photos of individual products (Never enough  there is always the chaps who says "There are no pictures" when what they mean is there isn't a picture of the one I want NOW!) there is the Battle Gallery which as I write this has 119   pics of  the various ranges "in action" as it were with more added as I find suitable photos.
 There are also some free rules downloads- nothing spectacular mostly the free rules that used to come insdie the Blue Moon 28mm Boxed sets but also a  simple ACW set I wrote to go with my 40mm ACW collection. . There will in time be others  as I write them - nothing fancy but maybe a simple Napoleonic set on the lines of the ACW and perhaops an ECW set but that is all for the future.
 For now get a butchers at the new site - 
  Paul and Matthew   have done a proper bang up job  and I'm dead chuffed with the way it looks.
 So here is a formal public record of my thanks  THANKS DUDES !
  It will  be easier to navigate and find stuff   from a customers point of view too.

 BY Gum I'm as happy as a pig in s ***

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Older than many wargamers ....

 There is a lot of twaddle talked about the ageing of the hobby - as if we are all shambling into our dotage - usually by blokes who have already decided that they are  dotards with their bloody flasks, meat paste sandwiched and sodding cardigans !! !  Cobblers !  Not dead yet by a long chalk - still to much to do .
 So with the new website building going on apace - and these things always take longer than you think they will I thought I'd show a couple of pics  of a unit that is older than many in this hobby and differences
  in historical information notwithstanding still looks just as tasty as it did since it first saw the light
 of day  sometime in the mid seventies. The unit was certainly present when "Battleground" was filmed in 1977and appears in the Osprey Wargames "Naseby"  book of 1979 . so its pushing 40  and looks none the worse.
The Kings Lifeguard of Foote - 1643 or 1977  whichever you prefer.
 Its interesting how knowledge and perceptions change over the years .
 Close up of the same unit - nice and shiny .
The more modern unit ???
My "Other" Kings lifeguard look very different based upon the knowledge I had when I had them painted in the late 1990s- see the picture on the opening page of this blog . The more "modern" unit wears no armour- there are no known  records of armour being issued to the Kings Infantry - and most of the men wear montero caps - which were issued and  mostobviously there is hardly a buffcoat in sight- nor a musket rest .
 So which is "right" ?
 Quick answere both by the standards of the time they were made.

Monday, 13 October 2014

More on the website

The New updated website builds apace and- all being well should go live before the end of this week . There will doubtless be a few bumps in the road as there always are. As it is the number of hoops I've had to jump through has not been small
 However the new site is pretty and has features that didn't appear on its predecessor so once my Tekkie Dude irons out the bugs all should be well and I'll be back in the game again
 Tremble  Ye Mortals !!!!
 In the meantime here is a blast from the past
Hincliff and Foremost ECW cavalry
 I brought these from DC at unfashionably shiny -- before everything went tits up .
 . The collection consisted of   that part of Peter Gilders ECW Collection  that had come to him- Several of these units had taken part in the almost legendary "Battle ground" TV series of the  late 1970s.
 Some of these figures are aged and need a good bit of TLC but many are- dust notwithstanding as bright and shuiny as the day they were painted..

Teusday 14th October.
 A new holding page has gone up for the new site  so chaps cab see how pretty it will look . there is also a contact form- another new feature  which should continue. As always this kind of thing takes longer than I'd like  but we are still hoping to go live later this week.
 Apolgies for the inconvenience  but you can still contact me and I will answeras quickly as webmail will let me.
 Andy OGUK

Tuesday evening
 The gallery page on the website is now open and pictures are starting to appear there. More will go up as I dig them out of the file- many will be pics that have not previously appeared on the OGUK site- though many have appeared in other places- such as Miniature Wargames or this blog. Once I get some time I'll be adding completly new "Battle Pictures"

Wednesday 15th
More pictures up in the Gallery and the Holding Page with its email form now in use. I'll answer emails as fast as I can - anyone wanting a listing emailing - no problem but please tell me which bits you are intrested in as there are some biggish files for some of the larger ranges.  

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


 I thouight it was time, now I'm back from Donnington, to post an update on the progress of the shiny new website that I'm having built . Well in short its happeneing as I type and all being well should be easier to navigate than the old site once you get used to the differences in look and the more modern approach that the new server will give to the site.
 I don't pretend to understand the technicalities but I'm definitly getting  much more webspace for much less money thatn the old server gave me so  its Goodbye to - who actually aren't that easy..
40mm ACW painted by my mate  Tony Runkee .
How long it will be before we are up and running properly again I can't say precisely but it will be days rather than weeks.
 However in the meantime  simply email me on or phone me on 01207 283332  and  I'll sort out any orders you care to make- and don't forget the "6for5" deal will work when you phone or email  as well as at shows .
 Now ans aside to show based matters  I enjoyed Donnington this last weekend a good show but a few bumps in the road marred its perfection -
 NOT the noise of the Racing  which was fine and added a splendid counterpoint to the droning wargamers  and occasional arguments of the competition crowd.
 NOT the Kharsis- which were a good bit less insalubrious than last year .
NOT the ruinous prices of canned larger
 NOT really the awful over priced puke-burger with flaccid bacon and "cheeselike product"  with which I was presented for Saturday lunch .
So what was it that really really boiled my ****!
 Well I'll tell you since you asked.
 There are some bloody bad mannerd people out there.
 In this case on some- a minority mind- of the demo tables who just bloody ignore you . They make it so obvious that they are there to play their game and don't give a flying **** about the show or indeed anything else. Secondary to this I saw a number of games which never actually seemed to be played- no idea what they were but they seemed to be of a non- historical bent  but there was little or nothing to  tell you so Why were they there "demonstrating" . What is the point of their sad and  pathetic lives?
 Now don't get me wrong there were some bloody good games there that did catch my eye but its intresrting that of the 53 games listed in the show programme 28 might be called Historical  of that 28  10 were WW2 and 4 WW1 - in other words largely brown and Kharki  Of the other historical games  there  were 3 medieval 2 Ancient 3 Napoleonic1ACW 1 Vietnam 3 18th century 1 Rennaisence .
 So a very narrow spread even if we split off the Air and Naval games which I've included with their time periods. Over a third of the games from 1 period - and even withing that period mostly  late War NW Europe- though Tarawa of course was an exception here. How very very samey it all looked No eagles No Trumpets !- well not many .
Another shot of my 40mm Rebs painted by Tony Runkee.
 Surely the fact that the spread this year was so narrow bears some discussion. Its something I've noticed at other shows over the past couple of years. Partly its the steady strangelhold that convenience wargaming  is exerting on parts of the hobby  But there are other reasons too - the steady drain in historical knowledge amongst some of our bretheren  would be one. If you don't KNOW how can you  imagine  or plan ? If you don't read  hiow can you  know- hiowever having said that the Book dealers seemed to be doing a fair trade  but you do wonder. I don't have any answers here I merely observe and wonder ...

Thursday 9th Octobber
 Website building proceeds apace- new features will include some free downloadable rules- sty the moment all non- historical but I plan to add my own simple ACW set- the one I use for my 40mm ACW games and also all the various  catalogues will also be downloadable as well- Niether of these features was on the old site. I  want to add other simple rules for free download as well if I can .

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Donnington this Saturday and Sunday.

  So gentle readers we are off to  the World Wargames at Donnington - leaving on Friday
 I thought I'd post a detailed list of the ranges we are taking and will have stock of at the show.
 Blue Moon 15mm
With our current website problems customers can of course email me on
 and I will reply to any queries and can still take and despatch orders  and accept  card or paypal payments


 Gauls  Germans Cesarian Romans
Cesarian Roman Legionaries  Blue Moon 15mm

Marlburins and Great Northern War

 Swedes ,Russians Saxons  French Dutch British Austrians  Imperialists

French and Indian war

 Indians , French and British regulars Militia and irregulars for both sides- this  is a large and complete range.
Pirates - including some ships.
 Three Musketeers - Cardinals Guard personalities Highwaymen and Coaches.

 Seven Years War

 - Prussians Austrians and Russians - plus  the first releases of the British and French .


  British ,Continentals, Militia, Hessians and the new French  Another large  range
AWI Hessians Blue Moon 15mm


 French  for 1805 - 1807  1809-1812 and 1812-15
 including new additions a large and still growing range.
for both the Peninsular and Waterloo.
 for both the 1806 and 1812-15 periods
Russians for the 1805-7 and 1812-15 periods  including the new early cavalry.
ACW Blue Moon 15mm
 Austrians for 1809 and 1812-15 .
Austrian Napoleonic Blue Moon 15mm

Texan War of Indepedence and American Mexican War.

 American Civil War

 this range now has well over 100 different packs  including Infantry, Zouaves, Cavalry  artillery specialists  Personalities  waggons limbers Guns etc etc.

Victorian Colonial.

 ranges include the Sudan Campaigns the North West Froniter and 2nd Afghan War  the new  Zulu War . Plus "Deep Dark Africa" and the French foriegn Legion and Arabs.

 We'll also have the Plains War Horror and Gangster  ranges as well as the First World War range
 Indeed we normally carry all the  Blue Moon Historical ranges to shows.

Command Decision WW2

 ranges for the following nations and armies
 Germany 1939-45
 Russian 1939-45
 Britian 1939-45
 USA 1941-45
Japan 1941-45
 Italy 1939-43
 Hungary 1941-45
Romania 1941-45
 Holland 1940
 France 1940
 Poland 1939
 this list also includes the es True North range. and of course the Lil' Flyin Fokkers WW2 aircraft range.
WW2 French Command Decision 15mm

Modern Wars

 Troops for many modern conflicts including Vietnam and the Middle Esast  the Falklands War  and various African insurgencies, Afghanistans and the Gulf.

10mm ranges

A selection of gunpowder ranges in cluding Napoleonic Marlburian ACW and ECW.

25/28mm Ranges

A selection of Old Glory ranges incluing the Italian Wars-French  Swiss Landsknects v Italians and Spanish . Wars of Religion .
15mm Command Decision WW2 Germans - this is a large range
Old Glory 28mm Ottoman Turks

Old Glory 28mm Landsknechts  from the Italian Wars Range.
 Spanish Later Landknects, English , Huguenots etc etc.
Dark Ages- Normans Saxons Vikings Irish Scots
 Crusades- Military Orders Turks Arabs
French and Indian War
 Colonials- including Boers Boxers Pathans British Indian Muting and Sikh Wars.
 Sash and Saber ACW range.
 Brooks Miniatures 28mm Modern British resin Building  Blue Moon Boxed Sets
 Drabant 28mm Dark Ages Range

 Drabant 40mm Range
 If we have any room left we'll put more stuff in the van -  Resin buildings, Blue Moon 28mm Horror boxed sets  certainly the 1/600th Pre-dreadnought ships range I've just had a re-supply of Russo- Japanese War models .
The photographs show only a tiny number of the huge range of miniatures we'll be bringing to the show.
 the Van will be stuffed almost  to the point of illegality - but only almost !!
 See you at Donnington.