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Saturday, 6 August 2022

How many armies.... a diversion.

 Regular readers may recall that I have been a wargame of sorts since 1970 (I started young Dudes!) so I wondered in an idle minute how many armies had passed through my hand in the following half century.

So I thought I'd make a list to see how many I can recall. Now I doubt if it will be complete. I am bound to have forgotten the odd army here and there but as far as I can recall here are all the armies that I have ever owned and  fought a game with - the makers included where I can rememebr them,. The list won't contain stillborn projects as my first Minifgs ACW which never took the field before I sold them on. Nor will it contain those display only units that have graced my display case at shows - so here goes. All 28mm unless otherwise noted- bearing in mind that most were called 25mm until the mid-1990s

 The Seventies

Started this hobby in 1970  with Airfix plastics and Don Featherstone and Terry Wise from the local lending library. The rest is - quite literally history ! (well mostly)

Napoleonic French- mostly Airfix but with a few Les Higgins, Hinton Hunt, and Hinchliffe.20-25mm Nobody cared back then.
Indian Mutiny- all Airfix conversion- doubtless horrible.
WW2 again Airfix but with the odd Fujimi or other Japanese maker of the time..
First Afghan War - both sides - all Airfix conversions- these lasted into the  early 90s
ECW Royalists- my first all metal army - mostly Minifigs. but with some Hinchliffe. A little later some Garrison.
Carthaginians- mostly Garrison - but with a bundle of Airfix Gauls.
A bundle of FRPG figures for D and D. Ral Partha, Asgard,Garrison Sword and Sorcery. These last until the mid 80s or thereabouts - maybe later.  
 Samurai- Dixons of course, didn't last long - sold them to a chap at UNI. I may have had them as long as 6 months.
Vikings- a right mixture I remember Asgard, Lamming, Hinchliffe, Garrison, a few Ral Partha and a short lived Scottish outfit called Viking Miniatures. There may well have been others. 
Byzantines- Lamming sold them to a different chap at uni
Lots of Lamming Medieval which became a Feudal French army once I added a load of Hinchliffe Normans and Crusaders.
1859 French and Austrians- all Airfix conversions.20mm
 Teutonic Knights 15mm Friekorps - my first 15mm army.
The only things I really have left from this time are a bundle of Britians trees  that I thought had gone in a house move but that I found  a few years ago in the garage covered in dust and spiders .

The aged Britians trees- behind some almost equally aged  but more recently restored 30mm  figures


The Eighties

Most of the 1970s armies are gone now but the assorted medievals and dark Ages have morphed into
 Wars of the Roses Both sides and Hundred Years War.  often with the wrong banners. mixed makers including Minifigs  Castile, Garrison, Hinchliffe and an outfit called Vulcan who made some gendarmes in multiple parts including different horses heads and sets of horse armour.I even had a small Scottish army which was stolen.
Normans. Lamming Minifigs, Garrison,  Asgard and later additions from QT and Citadel. 
 Feudal Spanish. A spin off from all the other Feudals in the Norman armies.
New 1980s armies
Sub Roman British and Saxons. Mostly Minifigs and Garrison.
20mm WW2 Mostly plastic Normandy didn't last long. .
Elizabethan English and Irish. English mostly Citadel - now Foundry with some Essex some Hinchliffe.  Irish a right mixture - Irregular Essex Dixons Lamming QT and some parts swapping. This lot last into the 21st century.
30mm AWI Mostly Stadden, the odd Willie, bought second hand. Still have these plus a lot more besides.


Roman Republicans and Carthaginians. All sorts QT , Britannia, Garrison , Minifigs  Lamming ,Essex and even a few Corvus..
1/32nd WW2 Normandy  Airfix and Tamiya- did a demo at Northern Militaire that got a very short mention  in Mil Mod and even a photo.
20mm  Congo 1960s - all plastic conversions.
ECW- Corvus and Lamming only small forces for Skirmish games.

The Nineties.

For a short period in the  early 1990s I am scratchbuiling model buildings to commission of which my largest  job is 36 square feet of Revolutionary Paris for Todd Fishers famous Storming of the Tuileries game. Biggest silliness of the 1990s was how Guernsey Foundry started calling their models 28mm (nothing wrong with that) THEN how  an awful lot of panicky  bandwagon jumping occurred as company after company started calling models that had been referred to as '25mm' for years- sometimes a decade or more, overnight, became '28mm'.  This era was the true beginning of  '3mm angst' and quite a bit of whining and not a few assorted tantrums. Personally I don't give a monkeys - if I like 'em I'll buy 'em.

Armies in this decade included.

ACW called 30mm at first,-the original Old Glory figures sculpted by Dave Alsop Both sides. Backed up by some Connoisseur and some early Eagle Miniatures.
Medieval - Hundred Years War - Hotspur Miniatures sculpted by Dave Alsop - these would go with Dave to Old Glory in the USA. These lasted into the next century but are gone now. 
Austrian SYW- Eagle Miniatures. Painted by Dave Mills of New York in exchange for some model buildings I made for him. Gone now.
From early 1992 I become Old Glory UK.
 French and Indian War  Mostly OG  a few Eagle regulars - still have the regulars in my SYW forces, which began in the mid 1990s 
 Vikings and Normans Old Glory- still had the 1980s armies at this time so had large Feudal and Dark Ages collections-  The Vikings and possibly the Normans appeared in the First ed of WHAB.. Still have a few of the Norman Cavalry  though they are for sale. 

Norman Knights  painted in the 1990s by me, though rebased more recently. Called  25mm when we made them .Have to be called 28mm now, though of course they are the same models, but then that goes for rather a lot of companies that have been around more than a couple of years.



Crusades  Lionheart and the Ayubids   played a lot of Revenge medieval rules. Armies gone -still have the rules. 
15mm WW2 Command Decision Normandy- Germans and Americans - with all the American jeep drivers on the wrong side of the jeep!
 The mistake pointed out by the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp !

ECW yet again this time Old Glory - both sides - still have them.
20mm Angola - Cubans and FAPLA  plus some assorted mercenaries. mostly Hotspur some plastics some platoon 20. Of course the Hotspur ranges were Old Glory for much of the 1990s
15mm Franco Prussian War Friekorps French and Minifigs Prussians for Volley and Bayonet. Gone now.
15mm Jacobites Bonnie Prince Charlies Army . All Old Glory. 
Fantasy -  Grenadier Medievals and OG Dwarfs (in seven figure units of course) OG Orcs painted green so I got a lecture from er 'purists'. Some nice Grenadier Barbarians. Gave up Fantasy  for good in the mid 1990s as it had become too regimented and over serious. Still have a set of the Grenadier 'Fantasy Warriors' rules somewhere.

Sci-Fi  Mostly Grenadier 'Future Warriors' range but some other stuff too. Bad Jokes abound- 69th Marine Independent Landing Force have Multiple Unguided Flechette &Fragmentation rounds  gives you some idea of the intellectual level here ! Still have them. The Baddies are in the photo below. 

Some of my small sci-fi collection Painted in the late 80s or Early 90s All Grenadier I think. Still have these.


Napoleonic Old Glory, French, British Spanish the last mostly made from Alamo Mexicans,  gone by the late noughties - though still have a few odd figures left and a British battalion painted by Steve Skinner. 
30mm NW Frontier Willie and Stadden to which I add some Old Glory later-. Still adding stuff .
Mughals and Wellington in India the latter being mostly Redoubt but with some First Corps, the Mughals being everything that might vaguely fit. Stupidly sold them- The first attempt at a 'De Boigne' army  The only armies I have really regretted selling on. Doing this again now.
A pair of old Willies painted in oils and enamels - which for me makes 'em late 80s or early 90s - by the mid 90s I had gone acrylic. 


The Noughties.

Comparatively little building of new armies - except in 40mm but additions to the 7YW French and British and ECW in 28mm.
40mm ACW Union and Confederate  Brigades  for smallish battle / big skirmishes - still have them but they are for sale along with the buildings I made for them.
40mm Napoleonic Peninsular  French Brits and a few Spanish. Sold on now.
40mm Dark Ages Vikings/Saxons and Normans- don't actually think these have ever fought more than once. For Sale now.
28mm AWI using Old Glory  which mix rather well with Stadden so long as you don't get the magnifier out . Still have these.
The beginnings of some 1/1200 WW2 Naval fleets Royal Navy, Italians and Germans still have these though they have not had a game for a few years. Mixture of plastic and metal models,
I start collecting older and out of production 30mm models  Napoleonic and ECW without much idea of what I will do with then yet ..... 

The Twentytens 

15mm Moderns British and 'Harraquis' - Nothing to do with the Gulf wars honest Guv..! Still have these plus insurgents of '72 Virgins Martyrs Brigade' Still use these, their next outing will be in late September I think. 
40mm Later  Thirty Year War and ECW some Sash and Saber and some Drabant but mostly my own 'Romanoff Miniatures' An ongoing project 
40mm Wars of the Roses. Originally Brooks Miniatures, now mine, plus some Irregular and a very few 'Mindstalkers' an Italian outfit - very nice but bloody pricey. An ongoing project.

Biggest additions have been to my 'retro' collections. 'Shinyloo' starts in this decade with 30mm Napoleonic and is still an ongoing and expanding  project. Bringing back some of these old models to life has become a small but important part of the hobby over the last decade or so.

Retro ECW - My single Les Higgins 30mm 'Jason' foot regiment. This range went OOP in the mid 70s when I could not have afforded them anyway. Picked these up in dribs and drabs  over the last decade or so. 



A 'retro'  ECW collection appears  bought by my wife Carole for me one Christmas and it has expanded since. Based around units that were once Peter Gilder's and appeared in Battle magazine and later the original Miniature Wargames magazine.

 The Kings Lifeguard 1970s style. Once part of Peter Gilders Collection. The look is very retro but the painting (not by me) is exquisite.  The  hand painted flags especially. 



Additions to the Retro Colonials - mostly 30mm Stadden. 

Currently working on several - mostly Indian projects -Sikh Wars, Indian Mutiny, Wellington in India and of course DeBoigne they will progress as they progress. I've never been one of those dudes who can single-mindedly start at one end of and army and finish at the other just to 'get it on the table' 
 An awful lot of metal has passed  under my eyes through the years wonder where it all went ?




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More of the Gilder ECW collection now part of my retro ECW .