I have been given a publication date of July 21st - that would be NEXT WEEK DUDES ! for the publication of this my first book so you can see I'm just a tad exited about this. Looking forward to it.
Last Christmas my wife Carole bought be a subscription to the BBC History magazine. I'd bought the mag of and on from newstands for several months before and found it always interesting and occasionally fascinating. Now the is not a Military History mag but rather general History and frankly all the better for that. Let's face it quite a number of the wargaming fraternity have a pretty narrow view of History - just like much of the general population only more so - therefore getting a more rounded view of the past cannot be but a Good Thing (Sellar and Yeatman take note !) I may not always agree with the writers but they make you think which again must be accounted a Good Thing. The precise worth of individual copies will depend upon individual tastes but in the above issue alone we have mention of - Old Noll as you can see, but also Mary Wollstonecraft, The Tokyo Olympics- 1964- and Slime mould to mention only four highlights in a magazine that is full of both longish readable articles and fascinating little snippets. Past issues have included pieces on the Battle of Thermopylae, the Peasants revolt and the Sikh War.
All issues also have a plethora of book reviews and notices of historical events and event of interest to the historically minded. Never had a totally duff issue yet... wish the same could be said for wargames mags.
After a bit of heart- searching I have decided to unload my Front Rank Seven Years War units. I know plenty of chaps like Front Rank models and they do plenty of lovely stuff but these have never been entirely to my taste. I bought them when I was building up my 28mm Seven years War collection but the time has come for them to move on.
All are for the French army. Most of them are cavalry as that is what I was short of a dozen or more years ago but there some Schomberg light Infantry and an artillery piece with crew as well. Most were professionally painted, either by Steve Skinner or Rob Anderson. though the gun and some of the dragoons are my work.
|Schomber Dragoons- Painted by Steve Skinner 15 figures|
|Schomberg Light Infantry 26 figures painted by Steve Skinner|
|Royal Dragoons and a gun and crew. Painted by me.|
|French Line Cavalry painted by Rob Anderson.|
|More French Line Cavalry. Painted by Rob Anderson.|
|2 shots of the Royal Dragoons. Painted by Rob Anderson.|
So in total there are 26 foot 57 cavalry and a gun and crew. These is also a 2 mounted figure command group - also painted by me but I don't yet have a pic of that.All of these pics were already in the files so to speak. the 3 Rob Anderson painted units are each 12 strong.
Once I get a bit of time spare- rare currently- I will post each unit individually on FB Historical Wargames Buy Swap Sell . But if anyone fancies the lot well offers in the region of £700.00. Shipping cost will depend upon where you live of course.
So I am finally able to show some finished figures. All of which will be going into various "Indian" projects. All of these figures are Old Glory 25 or indeed 28mm (Yes Dudes they are the same thing for most people unless you have 3mm angst!). They come from various ranges - Indian Mutiny, North West Frontier, Crusades and Renaissance Persians.
|Persian High command. These will, of course end up as Mughals.|
|A lovely mob. Models from the Cursade and the Indian Mutiny range . Old Glory 28mm.|
|Pathan Command. Lots of variants in this one- even the same bodies have head variants.|
|A smaller mob. These from the Old Glory Indian Mutiny range|
|Another shot of the Pathan Command. The chaps with Sniders and Martini- Henry will be for the 1897 Pathan Revolt. The chaps with Jezzails will become part of a Rohilla mercenary band for the 18th century.|
So the assorted India project move on - slowly but they move. Quite chuffed at how many Old Glory models I can use to get into the earlier parts of British India . Next up are a bundle more Sikh Goracharra cavalry.
I don't often buy books on Naval matters but over the years I have amassed a small number of volumes about messing about in boats- and not only by Kenneth Graham either.
I have A.T.Mahn's Influence of Sea Power Upon History - a portentous and now dated but still useful volume about warfare in the Age of Sail.plus a small collection of WW1 and WW2 naval books - probably less than 20 volumes all told. So when doing the supermarket chore the other week I was surprised to find Max Hastings' book OPERATION PEDESTAL concerning the Allied 1942 attempt to get supplies through to Malta
Now Hastings can read and write but sometimes is a bit right wing for my taste but this one is a good un. He spares no one in the story of cock up and courage occasional cowardice and sheer bloody mindedness that was the four day battle to get supplies through to beleaguered Malta - which was only a bare few weeks from starvation . Operation Pedestal has been treated as one of those British successes against adversity by the nationalist propagandists of WW2 and up to a point so it was but it was also a collection of balls ups- by both sides which turned- for the Axis a victory- which they trumpeted into a mere losing draw. Losses for the British were heavy- including a carrier sunk, an Admiral doing a runner and only 5 merchant ships actually reaching their destination. Yet it was enough. Just- to enable Malta to survive . Of course if the prize was worth the cost is another matter but that does not stop the story being something of an epic in itself. Well worth purchasing especially if you can get it cheaper than list -which I did. Nice one Max.
I am finding out that there is more to publishing a book than writing the thing. Currently going through the final proof before the book goes off to the printers. Checking the 8 pages of colour plates and the captions to the Black and white illustrations and the maps and battle plans is quite a bit more arduous than I imagined when I started. Not that I begrudge such duty - far from it but it does not half make your back ache poring over the screen for such a comparatively long period of time without a break.
Still , no worries it is getting done.
However what with that and getting the usual crop of orders out- not to mention a bundle of back orders it means that other stuff- such as figure painting has been almost entirely absent for the last week or so .
Hence no new pics in this post
well perhaps just this one ......
One of the very minor downsides of running a model soldier company and doing a lot of wargame shows, is that, over the years, you end up with a plethora of ex-display case units that don't have armies to belong to. There are armies that I simply have no interest in building and even less in playing games with. Some of these units are- to all intents and purposes "Factory Fresh" having done no more work than travel up and down the country and then stand in a display case for a year or two's shows or have their pictures taken for magazine adverts or website pictures..
As I rifle through my assorted boxes I have discovered several units which fit this criteria all OLD GLORY of course as well as a bundle of stuff I simply don't use any longer. Most of these professionally painted and table ready. It is time for them to move on to create space for more .So over the next few weeks I shall post pictures of these units as I check 'em out for"travel-dings" and make any repairs that may or may not be needed. So far I have found - all 28mm-
A bunch of about 20 or so Norman Cavalry
Some Vikings from the Somerled range- again about 20
A unit of 10 Dark Ages Magyar cavalry
Some Old Glory 2nd Edition Union Infantry.
A 24 figure unit of Italian Wars Swiss Pikes
A10 figure unit of Polish Winged Hussars plus their 10 Pancerni.
So here are pics of the Poles and the Magyars. Prices?
Well the Poles and the Magyars are £100.00 per unit plus shipping which will of course depend upon where they are going
|The two units of Polish. Hussars and Pancerni .|
|Close up on 1 Hussar.|
|The Pancerni unit|
|Close up of the Hussars|
|The Magyar Cavalry. |
More photos of more "spare units" as I sort them out. After all I need some new toys to paint !
One of the many reasons I have not blogged overmuch lately is that I have been finishing the above title for publication in July of this year. So am now a bit pleased as I have been given the go-ahead to let chaps know it is coming more details here.
The subject is one that has fascinate me for years and started with the question of what was going on in the rest of India while the British were nibbling around the edges.... well here issome of it.
So blag posts have been thin on the ground lately but like buses(anyone remember them) there are none for ages the 2 come along at once.
The photos are of my latest rather small unit for "Shinyloo" my retro Napoleonic mostly 30mm collection. These aged chaps are from Barry Minot who made a good bundle of assorted 30mm Historicals in the 70s and 80s. These days some are a bit thin on the ground - which is why this unit is only a dozen strong. I have a couple more of the figures but they need some TLC and repair before I start painting them.
|Minot 30mm Painted as Fusilers -Grenadiers.|
|Firing line. Again Minot|
|Loading - an Officer and Ouch that Hurt !|
Now as a general rule I hate reading wargames rules. The deliberately difficult language supposedly designed to stop players cheating added to often silly acronyms which have nothing to do with the period in question, but make the "game designer" feel clever (what are PIP, MU's and Fast Knights anyway and why the hell should I care?), make toiling through the average set of rules only fun to those who arrange their socks in numerical order and find half a shandy the epitome of excitement.
So it may come as something of a surprise to see this review of a set of rules from the Helion stable that does not follow that well worn and oft repeated path.
In Deo Veritas actually reads very well indeed.
In these strange time reading is about all I can do with them anyway but suffice it to say - Gentle Reader- that once you can get to a wargames table they should also play pretty well too.
For the record the rules are for large, fast playing, 17th century battles in the smaller scales- so 15mm and below- and to my mind should do that very well. To me there are a few distant echoes of a 1980s-90s big battle set called Volley and Bayonet - which back then I played quite a bit of and enjoyed. In Deo Veritas being focused on the 17th century of course have significant differences but there are still echoes in the base sizes but the writer does acknowledge his debt to that ruleset and its writer Frank Chadwick.
Using this set it becomes possible to refight such large 17th century battles as Lutzen and Marston Moor- that latter being one of 6 historical scenarios included in the book. The accent is on the history- although for the gamey types there is a points system if you must.
All the appropriate troop types are there from Spanish Tercios to late 17th century regiments, concentrating on Western style forces. I suspect a supplement might be needed to cover the Ottomans and the Poles and the Muskovites for example though with a bit of thought many if not all of their particular troops could be organised or this game system. The accent here is definitely on "big picture" rather than regimental detail but that is as it should be for a "big battle" set such as these
Physically the book is up to the usual Helion standard though I could have wished for some captions on some of the eye-candy photos. However at about half the price of some of the hardback paving slab sized rulesbooks you see about the place this softback is good value.
My preferred option here would be for the 30 Years War in 10mm and for that or the ECW or for much of the 80 Years War and a decent chunk of the various Northern Wars these would fit the bill.
Definitely recommended .... Now all I need to do is to get Jim to paint up a bundle of 10mm TYW troops ... well I do have most of the troop types in the Old Glory 10mm range so it might be rude not to/ .....
There are chaps out there who, because of lockdown, are racing through their assorted armies painters arms going like a fiddlers elbow, churning out figures left right and centre.
Well I'm not one of them. Not least because I spend quite a lot of time SUPPLYING unpainted figures to these chaps. Now I'm not complaining but it does tend to mean that when I should be painting I don't have the mojo because I am temporarily sick of the sight of the little lead gits .!
However this does not last. So here are a couple of pics of the newest additions to the Sikh Wars project..
The Sikh High command are all Old Glory and are 3 of the 6 different models in the High command pack in the Sikh Wars range- 28mm - aswe are supposed to call them now.
The Bengal Horse Artillery are much older being old 30mm Willie casting I've had in hand for about 30 years, relics of a past attempt at the Sikh Wars along with a few 16th Lancers.
|Bengal Horse Artillery- 5 old Willies !|
The gun is a rather newer Eagle figure piece- I like their artillery and anyone who is into Napoleonic or 7YW should check out their ranges. They do some nice stuff. I like their Danes and Spanish.
However that is by the by- their guns fit in rather nicely with these 30mm models.
OK now back to a bit of writing.
One of the several downsides of being a relatively studious chap in today's whiz-bang -kapow world is that so much of the wargames reading on offer is pretty lightweight. It is one of the reasons I don't often read wargames magazines any more - unless I find something in them to engage my brain. Now this does happen as there is sometimes still good stuff in their pages but so often the articles simply do not interest me, being yet another scenario for a "game" I've never heard of and would not want to use anyway or perhaps a how to paint- this extremely expensive collection of assorted thingys wiv pointy ears or overly large ray guns, or even if historically based frequently merely a scenario for yet another skirmish game with little or no reference to the historical sources.
So it my come as no surprise that my reading is somewhat more "in depth" than most magazines can(or indeed would want) to provide. These glossy journals being at the shallower end of the pond so to speak.
Now currently I'm chewing my way through William Dalrymple's "The Anarchy" - which being Dalrymple is a meaty tome indeed in size much like his "White Mughals" and "The return of the King" and equally being Dalrymple concerning an Indian Subject. This time the rise of the East India Company from its comparatively humble beginnings in the 17thcentury to being overlord of the Indian subcontinent by the first decades of the 19th. Shortly put and with massive over simplification the EIC stepped into the vacuum left by the crumbling of the Mughal Empire throughout the 18th century. There were plenty of bumps in the road but that is essentially the main thrust of the narrative. This is a subject close to my heart as Indian military history is definitely one of my "things". However this is not a purely military book but puts the battles, sieges and assorted political skulduggery into context. Therein lies its value, context is everything-otherwise there is little point to the battles we (or at least some of us) study.
Definitely recommended for anyone interested in the wars of India.
Again recommended.- especially if you can find a cheap one.
As it happens I also have Jonathan Otes's book on the same campaign - but I have not read it yet . India was in the minds eys much warmer than Scotland so after Reid I went with Dalrymple.....
|Minifigs 30mm British Napoleonic artillery of considerable age- about 1972 I think.|
|Another view of the same group.|
|Nice Command figures- shame about the marching dudes. Fine paintwork from Jim though.|
|This unit when finished should be 7 bases- 28figures strong.|
|Officer of Scinde Horse. |