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Friday 17 November 2023

Khalsa ! A Guide to Wargaming the Anglo Sikh Wars.

It's Out!  

So here is my second book and my first in the Helion Wargames series.

It was  both fun and challenging to write. To be honest I found the 'wargaming' bits sometimes more of a challenge then the 'history' bits but it all seems to have come out right in the end.. I have not yet seen a print copy  but the final proof looked pretty dammed good in my very biased opinion.
 Interested chaps can  buy a copy here. 

on the Helion website at an introductory offer price.
 Also Helion will be at Battleground Wargames show in Stockton - on- Tees on Saturday 25th November - as indeed will I .
 My gaming group and I will be running a Sikh Wars game in 28mm based around one of the scenarios in the book.
 See your there perhaps. ?

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Corvus Miniatures - A Brief and possibly inaccurate history.

 Corvus Miniatures were a British wargames figure company that flourished  briefly in the 1980s before disappearing without trace sometime after 1987 .

 They produced a quite extensive range of 25mm figures that today would be called 28mm being around the same size as Foundry.

 The began production in 1983 but the first advert I can find from them is in Miniature Wargames no 12 

 Corvus advert from no 12 of MW showing 'New Releases'.

The company steadily added new items to its listings.  Including a Dark Ages range - which I had completely forgotten about - even though I'm sure I had some of the Normans and maybe some ofthe Welsh.

Another advert- this one from MW13

For me the best of their ranges was the ECW- much of it based on the the then very new Haythornthwaite book published I think by Blandford, which I may still have somewhere. The range would in time become quite extensive. 

The advert in MW14 announcing the ECW range. 

The next advert in MW15 shows more releases in different periods The company certainly had some ambition. My own view was that I almost always liked the figures I bought from them and found them of pretty high quality and detail.

Another ad from MW15 though they missed off the company name ! 

 Though as others noted the horses tended to be on the small side. 
MW18 had almost a page and a half of figure reviews from Corvus- these are the days before the internet- we used to actually read stuff back then! 

The 2 pages of the review. I note that while Corvus has sunk without trace Trev Dixon is still  going strong ! 

This review - also from MW this time no 21 gives a look at the models themselves. I  have a couple of the officer with half pike and 10 of the loading musketeer. plus a few Pikemen - all picked up a couple of years ago second hand. 

Some of the Corvus Normans. 

Another review  this time from MW27  August 1985- a bundle of ECW personalities- which I never got around to buying. 

 December 1985 issue of MW has an advert for the 1986 'Corvus Miniatures  World Team Championships run by the Derby Wargames Associates- with whom I and Old Glory UK would be happily involved sponsoring the World Team Championships  during the mid 1990s and on past the millennium

 Corvus' next advert in MW  that I have been able to find is May 1986 and the company has moved to a new address but is still making new ranges.

 The final mention of the company that I have so far found is from later in 1986 and shows their Franco- Prussian War range. This is a photo- review though the quality is no wonderful 

Corvus Franco- Prussian War.  I seem to recall seeing some of these at a Durham Wargames Group meeting. I was a member back then! 

The above is the last mention I have so far found. It might be telling that the address given in the review is for a shop 'The Parade Ground' in Sussex. I have a dim recollection that Corvus may have become 'Sussex Miniatures' but have not so far found any documentary evidence to support this.. The above review appears in MW39 August 1986 . I have found no more mentions of the company in MW though I do have some early issues of WI to check through. and have so far found that Corvus seem to have been taken over by 
 The Parade Gound, WI no1 has an advert for the Osprey World Championships 1987 which had 'The Parade Ground (Including Corvus and Tin Soldier) listed as attending the show.  More info if and when I discover any. 

November 8th 2023.
 An addendum.
 In  WI no 2  October 1987. an advert for Sussex miniatures appears 'formerly the Parade Ground'   stating that they now manufacture the Corvus range under the trade name of Sussex Miniatures.  Now all I have to do is find what happened to Sussex Miniatures. The same Company also manufactured the Tin Soldier range so I wonder how long that connection lasted and if the current 'Tin Solder' range are the same.