Total Pageviews

Welcome to Big Andy's Blog.

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

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!  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 longet than you think they will
 I thought I'd show a couple of pics of a unit that is older than amny in theis hobby and  differeneces in historical informaqtion notwithstanding still looks just as tasty as it did since it fiorst 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 whicvh 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.

Monday, 29 September 2014

New stuff in time for Donington

 left to right Sabre Scorpion and Scimitar.

 more of a top- down view as above Sabre Scorpionand Scimiatr.
Now the difference between what you order and what you actually get is sometimes quite wide. In this particular case I'd ordered some new Blue Moon 15mm stuff I was notified about and indeed some of it has arrived exactly as per spec.
 Finally I have Austrian Seven Years War Hussars both Troopers and Command. I have French Horse artillery crews for the Early period to go with the Bicorne Dudes. Prussian Horse Artillery Crews likewise. French Horse Gunners for the 1809 and Peninsular campaigns  and 1812
 British RHA crews also now out and in my hand. both for the Peninsular and Waterloo.
 A nattly little pack of ACW riflemen/snipers with "peepscope" rifles
 However I didn't get the published additions to the Brisih and French SYW  Lists but did get other stuff for the SYW- Prussian Artillery Crews and more Britiish 7YW Infantry  and the first of the French Infantry. Cavalry for both British and French  are on the way- masters done  but not yet in production   .
 However best of all - at least as far as I';m concerned are the 3 new modern tanks packs- well CVRT if you want to be picky  thats right Scorpion Scimitar and Sabre are finally out and available and very very tasty they look too.
 I've added a couple of pics of hastily assembled and totally unpainte straight from the bag models so you can see how tasty they are- .
 We are also pretty well stocked up on  most ranges - especially those we bring to shows   so we have had re-supplies of most  Blue Moon  15mm ranges
 Back orders will start going out today.
 See you at Donnington Dudes !!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Website Problems

As I sit here I have the phone clamped to my ear on "Hold"  as I try to get through to my web- hosting company . I have a problem with the OGUK website. Currently I'm not sure what the cause is or how exspensive its going to be to restore- it may be quite simple if you know how but you know - you never can tell.
 Any way  you can still buy stuff the old fashioned way by phone-  call me on 01207283332  and use a credit or debit card or email me on  with your order and you can pay by paypal - I'll send you a paypal request.
The neverending "6 for5" deal is open to chaps who order using either of these methods- as well as those who see me at shows as it has been for the last  Gawd knows how many years. If you need copies of the catalogues and lists tell me which and I'll email them to you .
 We will get this sorted  but it may take a few days....
 The timing of course is shyte !!!

The point of course is that we are still open for business. Indeed I've just been notified to expect a delivery from he USA on Monday Morning so  once that is sorted and put away most of the back orders should go out in the coming week. Then we gear up for Derby - sorry Donnington this coming weekend .
 As for the website  things are happening but as always its slower than I'd like as there seem to be problems with the hosting company as well.

Sunday morning
 well the site is still down  but moves are a foot  to do 2 things
 1 Restore the current site  as soon as we can - the server and hosting company  buggered us right up  but apparently its our fault  so   while the short term plan is to  restore the site asap in the longer term I'm going for a major up date and re-design .
 In the meantime  call or email we can still sell you some soldiers and of course we'll be at Donnington . next weekend.

Monday 29th Sept 9.30
 UPS have just delivered a shiopment  so now to unpacking and seeing exactly what new stuff there is as well as  re-supply of existing codes. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Scattered fragements of different Eras ...Cries of "We're DOOMED !!!"

40mm ECW  troops on round bases placed in trays 8 to a tray . Its a small company of 24 figures
 So Barry Hiltons short piece on the future of the hobby makes a few waves. Surely that was its point. But as I consider the Scottish referendun like fallout I wonder if we are not rather putting the cart before the horse. Times change , ttastes change,  the hiobby is not what is was even 10 years ago.  While for some this is a "Golden Age " for others it is merely the onset of Doddering Old Age..
One of the things that we HAVE to get used to is that this is not one homogenous hobby. We go on and on about Broad Church and all inclusivity but how true is that?  There are a few common elements perhaps but how close is some chap who plays a single specific game - be it Flames of War or DBM  or Void or Warhammer Fantasy or WH40k  to a "period player" who studies his chosen era and builds his armies to fit them as he sees it then chooses his rules to fit his vision ..
 At one extreme the dyed in the head FOW player will ONLY  buy the overpriced and not always accuate Battlefront gear in the same way a Workshop junkie won't look at any other kind of Sci- Fant models- better and cheaper though they may be. Now as always there are shadings so for example I sell lots of WW2 stuff to chaps who use FOW  but don't like Battlefront at the other end of the spectrum are those who only  buy or even have made the figures that fit their particlar favourite period and style and the  choose rules that fit in with their idea of how the 3rd Slobovian War was actually fought.
 My point here is that these innumerable shadings are more like a random collection of potsherds in an arhaelogists trench than a single homogenous hobby . The different sherds come from subtly different pots- some pretty similar but others not and some not fitting this pattern at all- but perhaps THAT one over there in a different trench..
 That some games outfits want to make us all dig the same trench and olny use the pots they "allow"  is simply part of the normal commercial hurly - burly  and organising a "single voice" would only aid that wish - even assuming such a monumental imposition was even possible let alone desirable.
 Lets be honest here and pull no punches most chaps just want to do what they do they way the do when they do without interference from anyone- and indeed most do.
 Bad shows should wither on the vine- nobody forces you through the door with a cattle prod. I've told you my personal solution. I'm down from a high of 26 shows a year in the mid 1990s  to a mere 10 now and a couple of those may be in jepordy. Since the 90s costs have rocketed- Trade Stand Fees  Van Hire Hotels  Food Beer. the cost of doing even a small local show  would be around £300-400 ,  .A Weekender further afield and I've kissed a grand plus goodbye before a soldier has gone over the counter, so I pick my shows carefully  and if they don't cut the mustard they are gone.
 However Chaps want shows to be local  - witness the number of small local club shows in the small ads  or even simply on the net I can think of loads of shows I no longer do- either because they were poor  or because they are no longer being run  but that doesn't stop new ones in the same mould sprining up  all over. I've been to some God-Awful shows in my time both as trader and displayer. Some where the traders outnumbered the punters and where the little old Ladies wanderedin looking for the White Elephant stall !
 I can remember a show where the organisers offered free entry and still no-one turned up. At another one- one of the bad mannered organiser shows.. another trader- no longer trading made a hlf - hearted attempt to run over one of my team in his poxy knackered old van - possibly because Jim had commented on his well ...stink...  he was one of the most unwashed fellows ever !
 so shows are much better now in many respects  especially if you choose wisely.
 Now on to diversity- todays PC buzz- word!
 In our small and unrepresentative group none of us do exactly the same periods in the same scale Jim and I do AWI- me in 28 he in 15mm  Jiom also does SYW in 10mm I no longer do Andrew and I both do moderns- different bits in different scales Jeff is mainly Naval - though does 15mm WW2 , Napoleonic and some 15mm Ancients and has other armies but usually only 1 side- a hangover from his competiton days .
 I have 25mm ECW. I'm the only one in the group who does except perhaps new chap "Theatre" Dave- to distinuish him from Farmer Dave( lots of stuff see his Northumbrian Wargamer blog)- who has some as well as a bundle of 28mm Ancients. As far as I'm aware no-one games fantasy- thoug both Jim and I may paint the odd fantasy figure as a painting excerise.
 I'm the only one who has a sci-fi collection - and that pretty modest.
 So even  in  our tiny group  the diversity is considerable- none are now competiton players and all  are to a grater or lesser extent "period players" rather than points and armylist types.. By comparison to some g larger clubs I suppose we are pretty homogenous !!!
 So are we doomed - no I don't think so  changing certainly evolving perhaps- though when you see some of the 1970s unwashed brigade ...  but I'm not  joining the nay- sayers and  Prophets of Dooms (or should that be profits of doom??) 
 As always if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined