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Friday 18 August 2017

Other things that Shine.

Regular readers will notice that I'm quite taken with my "Shinyloo" project  which finally is almost table ready. Indeed if all goes to plan the next but one T.W.A.T.S   game should be their first outing. The whole project is so different from my other periods- not just in terms of look but also in terms of approach and yes style. In theory this will also change the "gaming experience" though that awful phrase was never part of the original idea.
A Stadden AWI British General, possibly Howe, bought in the 1980s already secondhand.
Repainted at least once and possibly with as many as 3or 4 coats of varnish!

 Indeed  most modern gaming jargon leaves me cold as it is frequently gobbledegook and often put in to confuse and obfuscate the lack of actual content in the latest skirmish-a-like. The "rampant" series being a perfect example of this (though by no means the only one) 3 or 4  books containing mostly the same rules trying to get the punters to believe that they are different. The startling thing is that some of you fall for it. Indeed I did myself and only AFTER purchase did I realise I had bought a pig in a poke.

However the foregoing is not to the point  caveat emptor thinks I, moving on...

 So getting back to the shine and the main thrust of this piece. "Shinyloo" has caused me to re-think quite a few of my smaller wargaming periods- especially those where the collections have older figures in them.. Now the ECW collection is already split into two distinct groups and is not small having both older Hincliffe and Garrison  units- most bought from DC of the splendid "Unfashionably Shiny" blog but also additions of my own - most notable my single regiment of Les Higgins Jason 30mm and a single troop of Jason cavalry but also more recent additions from this year of Hincliffe,Essex and Foremost cavalry. All of these are shiny dudes simply because it seems to fit the style of the models. Equally I have more "modern" ECW forces- almost entirely Old Glory given a matt finish and again added to as recently as a couple of months ago. Now I've no objection to using all of these on the same table for a big game but with around 1000 plus figures to move to the pub it is not likely to happen soon. Nevertheless the point  here is that - for certain periods- shiny has taken my fancy.

Shiny scenery. All of the hedges, fences and haystacks are at least 60 years oldand have been repainted and repaired as well as being based up for wargames

So  given that some of the first Stadden 30mm I ever bought- sometime in the late 80s were AWI- all secondhand and including a steal of a 30 plus man unit of SYW Prussians for a mere two quid at a Durham wargames group auction , you'd think that my AWI forces would be as shiny as can be. But no gentle reader, you would be wrong. When I first painted them yes they were shiny but for reasons which now escape me I matt varnished them in the noughties. Gawd knows why, upon reflection - possibly because my modern AWI units were matt and indeed still are.. Anyhow digging out the AWI forces for a future game I realised that the matt varnished Staddens were a bit dull and chipped and could do with a bit of TLC  which they are now slowly getting- along with nice new shiny coats of fresh varnish. Now since I was also restoring and repainting some 1950s Britians and Timpo fences and haystacks at the same time then they received a coat of gloss varnish as well  so we now have shiny scenery!. Some of these -bought for just a few quid- scenic items are actually for 54 mm figures but don't look out of place with 30mm or 40mm. They did need a good bit of restoration- one of the hay haystacks had a hole in it- being hollowcast it was a bit obvious. However filling and re-texturing was no problem and now the only way I can tell where the damage was is by touch. All the items needed repainting but that was a doddle- even trying to make the flatish hedges look a bit like a theatre backdrop was not too difficult- though I may need a tad more practice at this.

Stadden 30mm American riflement skulking behind hedges and fences 

 I've thought for some time that I wanted a somewhat different look to some of my collections and games. I don't know about you but these days many show games look so samey- especially from more than 6 feet away. Green blocks of terrain tiles  ready made scenery - often those laser cut buildings- which not infrequently look like  flatpack furniture for the wargames table unless some chap has put in the extra effort needed to make them look like model buildings. Of course it depends on the when and the where but I do find myself surprised and indeed rather pleased when a demo- game LOOKS different from the herd. Newark- this coming Sunday is always a respectable bet for games that stand out as it has not, so far, been infected with samey-gamey 4 feet square skirmish -a -likes to the same extent as other shows I've been to over the last few years.

Stadden  AWI British grenadiers with light Infantry doing their own skulking.

Now I'm not altogether sure where this is going  but if I get a retro look to the scenery that fits the retro look of the figures- both AWI and Napoleonic then my work here is done.......

More Stadden. . Units will grow as I repiant and restore these old figure.