Monday, 26 November 2012

Smoggy Smoggy and funny hats

So thats it for this year- no more shows until York next Feb. Which frankly suits me. Smoggycon was fine but aptly named as visibility home was at time about 20 metres which meant a bit of slow driving before we got to the pub for a pint on the way home. Now as for the show itself- see Robbie Roddis blog the independent Wargames group as I didn't get to see much of it being too busy selling soldiers. Nevertheless I'll be back to the Southlands centre in March for Smoggy's youger cousin and back for the origonal next Novemeber. One of the things that- perversly I like about smaller local shows is the fact that they enable me to talk to chaps. Gigs like Salute hardly allow that there are usually plenty of chaps waving money at me and all I tend tyo say is Next please !! or pass the shovel Jim! - Not that I'm complaining mind but Salute is a commercial show first and foremost. Not all the shows I choose to do are done for primarily commercisal reasons. As for the funny hats- I realise that the statement I'm about to make may heap coals of fire upon my head but here goes-
There it's said phew done it. This will not be a permanent condition but currently I'm finding the 18th century just a tad on the tedious side. I find this happens to me with all periods from time to time. To be fiar tricornes have lasted longer than most- only the ECW outlasting them. I've had my current25/28/30mm 18th century collection for the best part of 20 years but its going on the back burner for a whileas I want to do other stuff. In other sizes- 15mm and 40mm mostly. So here are some pics of other stuff in my collection which may see the light of day on the table next year- NONE of these have rolled a dice in anger in the last twelvemonth.
The nearest this lot have got to battle is my display case at shows. Likewise some Swiss I have and Hungarians and Turks. Not quite armies but enoough for a ggame- especially if I do a few more??? For the record they are all Old Glory 28mm- or 25mm when they were painted. I must see if I can find the pics of the Hungarian Hussars....

Thursday, 22 November 2012


No chaps not a Swedish General but rather to indicate that this post is a bit of a mixture, an assortment. I've been busy of late what with the arrival of a shipment and prep for Smioggy this coming Saturday. Nevertheless the odd soldier or two has been painted - and not all 15mm Moderns either though they have been taking centre stage recently. However in addition I've still kept bashing on with my various 40mm projects
First here are a couple more longbowmen for my Wars of the Roses project - more are on the go but these actually got finished
next up are 3 pics of some 40mm ECW/TYW pikemen. To be honest the standard- one of John the Flags superb flags is ECW but the pikement are set to be Spanish TYW- once I make the standard bearer. they aren't suitable for ECW as they are massivly over armoured. They just might pass as London trained band- who provided their own kit but never for Royalists orParliamentarians after mid 1643. But they look nice even though I say so myself.
Next up a couple of HLBS40mm FIW figures- nice these and IMHO better than most HLBS offerings. I've some of their ranges which frankly are pretty poor with badly hanging coats and short muskets but these are rather niceand fit in well with my small FIW collection.
Finally 3 15mm pictures. All for my
Not the second Gulf War at all -even slightly
project the first being group of regular infantry weapons team- RPG and mortars next a couple of pick up truck for the fedayeen then finally some BDRM with Spandrel AT missiles- how long these will last against Challenger is anyopnes gues as long as its less than 10 seconds.. So there we go a right collection just what you'd expect from a bloke with a restless mind- still better than being boring ain't it.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Another Anthem

The Siren Song of Simplicity.
So here I sit wondering why other wargamers do stuff the way they do. For nostalgia- I find that ain't what it used to be.Because they can- a good reason one I use myself. Becasue its cheap- never the best of reasons for doing anything in my view becasue its easy- heard it not always good, because its simple- aye well serves you right. There are as many reasons as wargamers and I suppose most of us wargame and collect the way we do for many reasons but I've also met just as many chasp whio have trouble telling you WHY they use a given system or collect a given range other than "cos its good innit" which may be expressive but isn't very illuminating. So putting my money where my mouth is I thought I'd try to sit down and work out why I wargame and Collect the way I do NOW rather than the way I did then- 10 years 20years or Gawd 'elp me 30 or 40 years ago Howver first a small timeline.
40 years ago- as far as I can remember. Collection Mostly Airfix. A few Higgins Garrison and later Hincliffe. Periods Napleonic and WW2. Rules Terry Wise, Featherstone or home grown. Figure painting reasonable down to vile.
30 years ago Still some Airfix but now a good few metal armies Lamming, Garrison and Minifigs. Periods- Ancients and Dark Ages. ECW. Lots of Medivals a bit of Dwarf Fiddling on the side!! Rules WRG5th ,WRG Gushand a set called Lance for medivals. Painting reasonable to awful
20-25 years ago- but before Old Glory QT,Citadel,Irregular some Stadden.Hotspur. Periods- all sorts ,I remember- Pike and Shot- Elizebeths Irish Wars. Hundred Years War Colonial. 20mm Moderns, Ancients- Romans and Carthaginians. Dark Ages and Early Medivals AWI ACW at the end of this era . Not all at the same time but mostly . Rules Tactica for Ancients Home grown for Dark Ages and ACW. Still the odd bit of Dwarf fiddling Painting Good to reasonable. I even win some painting comps and modelling comps with my few 54mm and 90mm figs. I still have my Stadden AWI from this period.
Stadden 30mm AWI cavalry- these are the "longest posessed" figutre in my current collection being about 25 years old. They've been touched up and re-based a couple of times but I've has the castings since the late 80s
20years ago- after Old Glory- as above but adding French and Indian War and a large ACW collection 20mm Moderns More Dark Ages Wellinton in India and Indian Moghuls. Makers Old Glory- obviously but also Redoubt, Connoiseur and Eagle. Still ac little Dwarf Fiddling but I've got it under control. Rules more or less as above but adding Age of Reason for FIW and Revenge! for medivals.
10-15 years ago All the plastics have gone now. As has the ACW collection the Ancients and by the end of this time the Moderns and mostof the others to be replaced by a Seven Years War and ECW collection and the first of the 40mm. However in between times I amass a 25mm Peninsular War collection- which goes after abouout 3 or 4 years and a 15mm FPW collection likewiseand the first- but not only 15mm WW2 collection . 20mm WW1 which I still have. Dwarf fiddling finally cured. Painting- still getting better. Rules ECW-Forlorn Hope< 18th century AOR. ww2- Command Decison./blockquote>
The last 10 years or so. Armies Still ECW and 7YW.15mm WW2 but for the Desert War. Allsorts of bits and pieces amassed for the display case at shows. The Wellington in India have gone but I have 40mm ACW and Napoleonic Peninsular and most recently 15mm Moderns, as well as various projects on the go-40mm Marlburians and ECW 40mm Dark Ages.. Rules-more or less as above but with a homegrown accent for the 40mm. Painting - getter better or perhaps more satisfied is the correct term
Some of my more recently completed models- the Warrior IFV'S are Old Glory the shilka AA a QRF piece.
So a potted history of my wargames armies- what does it tell you? Possibly that I'm an impatient SOB.I prefer to see it as a progression throught my chosen craft- which sounds pretentious but I work at this almost 24/7 so it is a craft. So no I'm not having a second childhood. If there was a "Golden Age" for me it was the 1990s but I'm not even sure about that. It might be now. I can do things now that I could only dream of when I was 15 or 25 or even 35. I can should I wish and as ever finances permitting commision my own figures and cast them- could do that 20 years ago. I have far more choice not only in what I do but more importanly -to me at least HOW I do it. So no I don't pine for some mythical "Simple Golden Age" The siren song does not ring in MY ears.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Anthem for Doomed youth?????

Who moans at those who buy like cattle, Only the montrous Anger of the wives. Only the rolling dice's rapid rattle, can measure out the length of gaming lives....
With heartfelt apologies to Wilfred Owen .
Some few days ago in an email conversation with longtime friend and sometime wargamer Rahul Sarnaik. He let slip that he was thinking of ressurecting his Airfix ACW armies, now nothing wrong with that but he also let drop that his wife was of the opinion that he was having a second childhood. This and some remarks of Robbie Roddis on his blg - a mutual friend as it happens. set me thinking. How much of Wargaming- especiallyas we get older IS an attempt to re-kindle out youth or childhood?
Now I've thought about this for a while and find the idea intriguing. For myself the answer is a heatfelt
No Chance been there done that move on boy
Now some of you willdoubtless reply " Cobblers, you collct old out of production figures so you must be having your second childhood. In Wargaming terms no 'fraid not. All of the Staddens, Higgins Minot etc that I have now aquired I couldn't bloody well afford when I was younger. I'd been wargaming for almost10 year before I could afford a completly metal army until that time the vast majority had beeen Airfix. With assorted Higgins, Hincliffe and Garrison aquired when I could afford them. My early Wargaming days were spent in Manchester - founder memebr of my schools Wargaming society and a memebr of the Manchester Area Wargames Society. - Anyone out there remeber that- Northen Militaire in Swinton? - I could walk to that in those days- or such minor Luminaries as John Leigh, Ian Ossoway or Dave Hulland? No? FYI chaps, without John Leigh et al there never would have been a Northern Mil Well Dave also emigrated North and is still in the game though he's pushing 80 and wqhile as a youth I was less than the dust beneath the Hon Sec's chariot wheels I now count Dave amongst my friends. However having said that I don't really want those days back- I might have walked to Northern Mil but I couldn't afford much when I got there and I've never seen the point of window shopping. If you need to ask the price you can't afford it- I couldn't so I didn't 'Nuff said. But to hear some of these "Old School" dudes talk nothing is better since 1975 !. Soory chaps it just ain't so. Now don't get me wrong I've a fair retro collection myself and some stuff was fine back then but when I look at some of the figures and rules Jeez- I'm glad it's 2012. I can - if I choose -build a retro collection and play or run a retro game but I don't HAVE to. In the same way I don't HAVE to use the stuff the figure fascists and the Nottingham Mafia tell me I should. That's the point there is so much more choice now. I don't have to use Airfix- I don't want to go back to those ingenious but impecunious days. I don't want plastic armies been there done that move on boy.