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Sunday 15 March 2020

A Mighty Tome

While it would overstating the case to say my latest purchase from Helion's "Century of the Soldier" series gave my postie a hernia- it was a near run thing. This one is a meaty tome of some 400 pages

More Like Lions than Men : Sir William Brereton and the Cheshire Army of Parliament, 1642-46

It is also rather good and very useful.
 My knowledge of the Civil War in Cheshire was limited to R.N. Dore's dated but useful - and rather slim volume  plus the various  snippets in those books one may tem "The Usual Suspects"- Reid, Rogers and suchlike.
 The meaty volume fills that gap admirably.
 Sir William Brereton's Cheshire Army - fighting for Parliament- had never previously been studied in such detail and there is no doubt Mr. Abraham knows his stuff. Not only is there a narrative of Brereton's campaigns but more substantially details of units and organisation as well as  how the Cheshire Army was raised and paid for.
 We find out that Cromwell was not the only officer to have a "double Regiment" of cavalry- Brereton's was also a large regiment- though it did tend to fight in smaller sub-units that Old Noll's Ironsides. The colour section contains illustrations of many of the Cornets of the individual  troops of Brereton's Regiment along with - amongst other photos a rather splendid one of a re-created Dragoon.
It may well be that my ECW figure collection will now gat a Cheshire continget- to fight the "Lings Irish"- when I get a hold of THAT volume.
  This one however is highly recommended.

 Coincidentally arriving on my doormat a few days late was my copy of JSAHR Journal for spring 2020 . If I was only allowed to keep one  set of magazines or Journals  and had to dump the rest  it would probably be this one. This Journal is at the top of the list that most  current wargames magazines are near the bottom of in terms of choice of magazine reading. While the Arquebusier- Journal of the Pike and Shot Society runs it close. The JSAHR journal  covers a wider timespan. This issue no 392 has articles on the ECW, WW1, The War of Austrian Succession and the War of 1812 and very particular and detailed for their specific subjects they are- I now know the names and heights of some of the Drummers in the Canadian Fencible regiment for example!. This is not a usual wargamers lightweight read but for those of us who like to delve a little deeper.

Tuesday 3 March 2020

TLC for Old Lead Dudes!

 It cannot have escaped the notice of regular readers of this blog that I am rather partial to old and out of production 30mm model soldiers. Mkars such as Stadden ,Willie, Les Higgins and Barry Minot  do blow my skirt up certainly much more than the  sometimes rather tedious stuff you see about these days.

2 shots of the repaired Hussar. Painted as the British 7th Hussars. I have another half a dozen or so of these to restore- none need as much work as this chap did.

This is not to say that all modern stuff is boring, far from it,  there are a good number of modern makers I like and respect,but a good bit of it really lacks movement and style and that indefinable "difference" that makes it stand out from the crowd. Of course if you want your collection to be the same as everyone else's in some kind of conformity dictatorship go ahead , but not me...
  As I type this I am reminded of an incident that  happened on one of my trips to Historicon- a good few years ago now. I was doing a stint on the Old Glory booth and was talking to a rather pleasant chap who was interested in Napoleonics..... but wasn't going to buy any because he had to get WW2 "because Randy said so". Said Randy seemingly owned the gaming group because it met in his house of somesuch- the details now escape me but I still recall my own distaste at this .. after all it wasn't Randy's bloody money. Even then my thoughts were unprintable vis a vis Randy even though we never met. Peer pressure - shove it where the sun never shines- hopefully with sharp edges.
 So perhaps the foregoing illustrated in part my distaste for that kind of conformity in life as in wargaming-

"What are you rebelling against?"
 Whaddaya Got?

 Some things never change !

So these older 30mm are distinctive and different that is why I like them.
There is a downside. I often buy second hand groups of these and they are  sometimes not in the best of conditions so restoring them has become part of the hobby for me. The Stadden 30mm  hussar in the photos arrived without a sabre and his  Willie horse without a tail. I also had to add a saddle girth and other harness. From metal foil from a decent bottle of Burgundy as  I recall but almost any such foil will do. The sabre came from the spares box and if French as I didn't have a British 1793 pattern in hand and the horse's tail from an old Old Glory horse which I had managed to break at sometime in the past. .
Guard Horse Artillery. These did not need a huge amount of restoration beyns a few tools and a repaint.

 The Imperial Guard Horse Artillery are all Stadden 30mm crew but with Sash and Saber  guns as the bag of crewmen were gunless when I bought them.
 All of these figures will go into the ongoing "shinyloo" project which is currently growing  a bit for a public outing later this year.. Of course when I bored with old and shiny I will go off and paint some new and matt- Sikh Wars or Indian Mutiny .... But for now it is shiny in the driving seat ... but then I do have those Sikh Cuirassiers to finish......