Saturday, 23 January 2021

Cracking figures Gromit ! *

I was short of mounted command figures for 'Army Blue' so I thought I would order a suitable figure from Replica Metal Soldiers (Painted Traditional Toy Soldiers | Replica Metal Soldiers & Models) , he's the classic Lancer Officer from Britains and will be painted up as a Germanic type Uhlan and whilst I was on the site I noticed they do a mounted Highland Officer - you gotta have one of them I thought ! . They come in two pieces withe the body cavity of the horse hollowed out to save metal - the originals of course where hollow cast , they fit together very well and only needed a small amount of 'green stuff' to fit the joint . I've mounted them on bases to aid stability and will undercoat them when they are set .

*Alluding to the TV series 'Wallace and Gromit' for my overseas viewers - "cracking cheese Gromit"!


Thursday, 21 January 2021

Off piste reading

The other day we took a slight diversion through the churchyard to have a look in the boxes of books in the church porch ,  people have been leaving books, DVD's and jigsaws to help folk to entertain themselves during the lock down and what a good idea too ! . It reminds me of my youth when I was a member of the YHA and had several friends that ran Youth Hostels in the North of England , one of the features of any YH was the bookcase where you could find a strange array of paperback books , the idea was you picked a new book and left an old one you had read . I ended up being introduced to some genre of literature I would never have bought - some good some bad , however it was a great system that worked well . Note I am keeping an eye on the dog to stop him helping himself to the homemade jars of jam ! .

I selected from the boxes two James Herriot 'Vet' books and a biography of Jane Austin , strangely I have never read any of the Herriot books although I do remember the BBC tv series back in the 70's (?) , I've already read one of them - they are light amusing easy reading and have just started the Jane Austin Bio - not a book I would have bought but far more interesting than I first thought . I do remember attending a lecture on Austin at our local Arts Center but it must be thirty years ago and for the life in me I cannot remember why I did ? - think it might of been to impress a female ? but the only thing I remember was the finishing lines spoken by the woman who gave the talk - " remember that all of Austen's heroines aren't wearing knickers !" *

* Evidently they didn't come into fashion till later !?


Tuesday, 19 January 2021

EBay find - Royal Sussex Regt.

Got these chaps of Ebay for a very reasonable price . I've decided not to touch their paint work and only glue them onto MDF bases for stability - now to keep my eyes open for another six to complete the unit .

The face of a veteran - he's seen a lot of action in his service as a toy soldier . My big book of Britains Toy Soldiers says the sets were available from 1895 till 1963 . 


Friday, 15 January 2021

Peter Cushing wargamer (three more photos)

Found these photos on Facebook of Peter Cushing's figure collection which I haven't seen before , here he's dusting a Britains Howitzer .

Peering at the figures in the cases he seems to have collected Britains farm animals and machinery as well as toy soldiers . I wonder if the trees in the bottom case are the old 'Merit'ones ? . There's a Naval gun and Hussars on the top of the cases as well - an impressive collection . (my father used to wear a cardigan like that - but without the collar and tie).

Think I've seen this one before (from the Peter Cushing Appreciation society)but a classic period photo of the great man .

PS found another one , again from The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society .


Saturday, 9 January 2021

'Blue Army' Potsdam Grenadiers .

This unit appeared at the Battle of Hooks Farm - briefly - before routing off the table , which is a shame as a LOT of work went into converting and building this regiment . 

They are Prince August 'Toy Soldier' molds which I find a pain to cast as the arms and head need a lot of 'green stuff' to make them fit . The heads are Irregular Miniatures 'Mitre Cap' which were not ideal but close enough and needed quite a bit of filing to get rid of the hair cue - all very fiddly ! .

The 'Potsdammers' are the only Regiment in the 'Blue Army' that carries the 'Scharfes Schwert' a sign of their elite status but a bit anachronistic in this era of modern warfare . Lets hope they preform better on their next tabletop encounter .


Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The Battle of Hooks Farm


First an apology - I have managed to lose/delete most of the photos I took of this battle in an 'Spring clean' of my computer - this can only be blamed on yours truly , however these three photos were on my phone so I have managed to publish these . The battle went 'Blue' armies way from the start as they drew a series of court/face cards which allowed their infantry to make 'Brigade/group' moves in the centre and on the left flank their Jaegers eliminated Red's Riflemen and pushed through the woods .

The battle from 'Red' armies side of the table the two centre regiments were driven off with heavy loses and the Hussars had to be sent off to the left flank to prevent the 'Blue' army cavalry flanking maneuver so this left only the Artillery to hold the centre . On the right the Highlanders were caught in a flanking fire and routed, the Volunteers tried to hold that flank and the new Naval Gatling gun deployed only to have the crew shot down by the 'Blue' Jaegers in the woods - with about half the army casualties or in rout the 'Red' General called it a day . 

There were two newly painted units on the table and both suffered the 'newly painted Toy Soldier syndrome' - the Naval Gatling gun crew on 'Red's side was wiped out and on 'Blue's side these newly converted  Grenadiers - this unit took forever to cast, convert and paint up - hit by a close range volley and artillery fire they routed and failed to rally - better luck next time . It was an enjoyable game but luck was not with 'Red' army from the start .

Thursday, 31 December 2020

A blast from the past .

From The Vintage Casting Group on Facebook , from an era when boys and girls were fearless in the face of molten lead and 1st degree burns and a sailor suit was all the PPE you needed ! .