Saturday, 21 April 2018

A Blast From The Past ! .

The other day I had a trip to Carlisle - one of my favourite towns and I popped into the Games Workshop for the odd pot of paint , when asked the invariable question from the manager "what are you painting now?" I replied "Mexican Infantry for the 1836 Texan War of Independence" - I got a blank look ! . Then on to the Museum for a quick look round and lunch , finally I when to the second hand bookshop in Castle Street (the name of which I always forget* ) , it's a musty old fashioned place full of nooks and crannies over several floors which you can get lost in . I have never worked out the actual layout of the various categories of books and just rely on bumping into things of interest . Imagine my surprise when I found they have a modelling section and even a few war gaming books ! - sadly all of which I already have - then I came across this book ! . I have never had a copy although I was aware of Morschauser and his gridded wargame through Donald Featherstones 'Advanced Wargaming' . It is rather worn but not to bad for something published in 1962 (56 years ago !!!!)  and VERY nostalgic ! . Although contemporary with Featherstone and Young he differs with his use of multi figure bases and even simpler rules than their's . Time to sit down with a cup of tea (and biscuits) and immerse myself in the past . (*Bookcase)

An early attempt at photography interrupted by Hodge ! .

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A Quarter Of The Way There !

The more observant amongst you may have noticed the mileage below the '1000 mile' poster on the right has been slowly increasing , well today I clocked up the 250 mile ! - (well 253.3 actually) and here is a celebratory photo with my companion for most of those miles (Charlie) . I have been aiming for 21 miles a week and on average have been getting just slightly more ! . Hopefully the better weather and upcoming holidays will help as well - here's to the next 250 ! 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Russian WW1 Pilot.

My faith in humanity has been reinforced  , I ordered the above figure of a Russian Pilot of the First World War off EBay from a Ukrainian model shop (?) . It was rather cheap for a 54mm figure and a very unusual subject for my collection of WW1 Airmen , Hmm ! I thought ! will I ever receive it ? - well it was cheap and I would be covered by EBay so I ordered it . Well five weeks later it has arrived and it's rather beautiful, polished and washed black and looks very nice , I was going to paint it but I think I will leave it as it is .The shop is - Hobby-Hata and can be found on EBay -  has lots of very unusual figures and kits .

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

A Return From Obscurity .

Nothing personal dear reader - but an introduction to a collection of figures that have not made an appearance on this blog as yet .

About ten years ago (?) Warhammer Historical published the above rules and I started collecting figures for them , mainly 25mm Old Glory (they did some rather good deals at that time on big purchases) and really got into system and the era . 

A quartet of Davy Crockett's (l to r Boot hill Miniatures , Old Glory , ? can't remember and Dixon). The problem with the Texan War of Independence is everybody concentrates on the Alamo forgetting the other actions which are probably more interesting and don't mention to a Texan that Crockett died anything but a hero's death (A La John Wayne) as they get VERY annoyed !. 

Generalissimo Santa Anna and staff (in period type photo) . I played it a lot at the time but being a 'wargaming butterfly' I moved on and the figures got pushed under the wargaming table and got forgotten . I was having a clear out of books and rules I wasn't going to use/read again when I came across the rules and was overcome by waves of nostalgia , so I sat down with a cup of tea (and biscuits) and re-read them , they are simple enough but lack a robust morale system maybe . So I thought I should give them another go . The figures could do with sprucing up and there are a fair few needing painting (isn't there always!?) I don't think I need to buy any new figures for this project (Huzza !). So I will chart my progress in this old/new period over the coming weeks . 

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Wargaming Humour No. 27

But tinged with regret knowing there's no more to paint ? (and ignoring the hundreds of unpainted figures hidden in boxes) . Shamelessly pinched off the Internet .

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Local History .

I was told by my father that there was a tank on display in my home town of Kendal to commemorate the First World War and it was cut up for scrap during the Second World War . I always wondered where it was displayed and what sort it was ? and I was overjoyed when somebody put this photo on a local historical groups page on Facebook . It's next to the river on Aynam Road on the Putting Green (which I can just remember as a child) and it's a Mark IV 'Female' type armed with machineguns in smaller sponsons . What a shame it had to be scrapped for World War Two .

Friday, 30 March 2018

Wargaming Humour No. 34

Springinsfeld drew my attention to this which is doing the rounds on Facebook and it is just to good to miss - I can relate to it totally !

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Major Shandys Covert Mission (Parte The Seconde)

The Allied force makes a night time march and moves onto the table using a dice throw to decide were they arrive (the cavalry threw a 6 and have got lost !) . Here we see the British Grenadiers nearest the camera and the Hessians beyond them .

Scheither's Jaegers appear further down the table , very fortunate .

The guard on the bridge spots them and calls the alarum ! , The garrison turns out some what tardily !.

The Allies move into the village , the British cross the earthworks and the other Grenadiers move onto the road .

The forces meet !  as the first French company tries to deploy .

The Hessians , Scheither's Grenadiers and a Artillery Officer and gunner carrying the charge to disable the French mortar.

Voltaire awakes annoyed by the uproar as his servant 'Wee Jockie' brings him his morning chocolate . The French Commander tells him to get out of the way ! .

There is furious fighting in the narrow streets , the French are driven back and rout ! .

The Jaegers shoot down the French as they emerge from their tents , suffering heavy casualties they retire towards the battery .

The Jaegers drive the French before them and finally rout them off the table , the remaining French try to hold the battery against overwhelming odds . The French reinforcements were meant to appear on the turn of a playing card - this didn't happen till it was to late ! .

As the battle rages Voltaire is struck by a musket ball !

He is carried from the field by two gunners , luckily his wound is not fatal* . The remaining French retire leaving the village to the Allies .

 The Allied Gunners lay a charge and disable the mortar , the powder store is also set on fire and explodes spectacularly ! . The French reinforcements arrive to see the Allies retiring over the bridge back to their lines . A great victory for the Allies and a feather in the cap of Major Shandy ! .

* strangely Voltaire makes very little of this episode and in fact later it was reported by Frederick The Great that Voltaire's convalescence was due to a less gallant disease contacted "la poursuite de l'amour" 

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Major Shandy's Covert Mission . (Parte The First)

The French are besieging the town of Namur and have billeted their troops in the surrounding villages , Mother Ross senses there is a profit to be made is supplying both sides will luxuries - at a very inflated price!. The philosopher Voltaire is attending the siege to record it for his history of the war ( Une Histoire de la Guerre Actuelle)  ( sadly now out of print and hard to find) . Mother Ross has brought him a supply of his favourite drinking chocolate and is somewhat alarmed by Voltaire's offer !?.

She is relieved and intrigued to find it is a large mortar which is deployed in an earthwork and is causing heavy damage to the besieged town . She thinks this information would be of great use to the Allies (for a price) and departs to find Major Shandy .

She arranges to meet him and finds him with his faithful hound 'Charlie' and his Batman Corporal Trim and although he is  sceptical she tells him she knows a path that will lead them unseen to the enemy held village where they can blow up the mortar and the powder store . 

Mother Ross describes the village and pinpoints the salient features and that the battery is garrisoned by the Regiment Du Roi  which is billeted in the various houses and out buildings of the village .

The Allied Commanders meet to plan the attack , a force of Grenadiers will be used supported by a unit of Jaegers and Horse . General 'Jung Fritz' Swartenberg will command with Major Shandy as Second in Command .

The Royal Irish Grenadiers will lead the attack and in the dead of night he expedition sets off . Too be continued ..........

Monday, 19 March 2018

Action On The Voivodino Road (Part Two)

An overview of the start of the battle , the Russian Cavalry Brigade in the foreground and the Infantry on the right.

The Russian Horse Artillery opens fire ! .

The British Light Cavalry move up to cover the right flank.

The Russians cavalry advance - rather slowly ! .

The Highland Brigade open fire on the Russian Infantry columns , this combined with the long range artillery fire from the British Artillery cause the leading Battalion to falter and then flee ! .

The Cossacks attack the Rifles and scatter them ! 

The British reinforcements arrive (on a lucky dice throw!) , the 55th Foot and the R.H.A. .

The R.H.A. reinforce the right flank of the Highlanders and open fire on  the Russian Cossacks - driving them back with heavy casualties . The Highlanders fire shake the morale of the remaining Russian battalion , I have been testing out a Brigade Morale System (thought up by my wargaming colleagues 'A' and 'S' ) were Brigades have to test when there stamina drops to half - this resulted in the Brigade retiring from the table ! .

The 55th open fire on the remaining Russian Infantry , the Russian Cavalry Brigade stalls and refuses to move .

The Russian C in C views the debacle taking place - the remaining  Infantry Brigade roll on the 'blunder' table (rolls a 12 on the Command roll) and retires two moves - off the table , leaving him only with the rather lacklustre cavalry ! - he signals the retreat ! . A British victory , due more to the bad luck of the Russians rather than any tactical brilliance on behalf of the Allies. I enjoyed this rather quirky game and the next up to paint is some Russian reinforcements in the shape of another artillery battery and some more riflemen.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Action On The Voivodino Road (Part One)

Having painted up the extra Crimean War units I thought it was time I got them on the table and into combat. I have decided to base my games in a semi fictional campaign set in Bulgaria as the Allies seek to raise the siege of Silistra and this is the second game - the last game was seven months ago ! (hangs head in shame) . The Allies forced the Russians back in that game and have moved further down the road having been reinforced by the 42nd Regiment and some Turkish light cavalry . The Russians are on the right of this photo and the Allies on the left . An apology for the poor quality of the photos the lighting is abysmal in my gaming room at the moment .

Finding their way blocked the Highland Brigade deploys with some Rifle Brigade on their right flank. 

The British C in C General Sir George Brown positions the artillery battery himself .

The Turkish Bashi Bazouks deploy to the Allied left , Sir George has a poor opinion of them - "we'll have to keep an eye on those chaps !"

The Russian centre four Battalions of infantry, a company of Riflemen and a H.A. battery . The first and second Battalions of the Azov and the Dnieper . At this point I thought - " the Russians need more Riflemen and another Artillery Battery" so they are on the 'to do' painting list .

Off to the Russian left is a Brigade of cavalry , two units of Ingermanland Hussars and a unit of Don Cossacks lurking up to no good . The Turkish infantry is busy guarding the Allied baggage train and is off table . Too be continued ..........

Thursday, 8 March 2018

The 55th (Westmoreland) Regiment Of Foot.

Have been busy getting more of my 1/72nd plastic Crimean figures painted . This time it is a British Regiment of Line the 55th (Westmoreland) my local unit (well if you go back over a hundred years) they have dark green facings - which I have lightened somewhat so they show up a bit better.

The figures are by Strelets  and get a bit of a panning on the Plastic Soldier website , but I rather like them - they have character ! . Strelets give you 44 figures each one being unique which has the advantage of you only getting one of each duff figure and you can pick out the better ones . They have a nice mixture of the 'Albert' shako and the forage caps .

Here we have them in period sepia mode . After I paint them I give them a coat of yacht varnish then matt varnish , this seems to prevent the paint flaking . I need another couple of Brigadiers then they will hit the table on a scenario I'm working on .

Friday, 2 March 2018

An Old Timer .

Whilst rummaging in my boxes of scenery I came across this - the older of you will recognise it to be the classic Hinchliffe Models box that they used to ship their figures in - ah! how many times have I excitedly open a delivery of these - something rather 'Dickensian' in them with their purple tissue paper packing . This one had but one figure in it -

I have no recollection of purchasing this figure , a Austrian Hussar Officer ( the above photo is from the present Hinchliffe catalogue)  as I didn't have any of their Napoleonic figures and can only assume it was bought as a sample figure for a long forgotten project .

As I have a Foundry 28mm Austrian army I thought it would be nice to get the old chap painted and onto the tabletop as a sort of Austrian Brigadier Gerard , so here he is ready to be painted up .

Well I really enjoyed painting this chap , I used my Liquitex acrylic tube paints I got for Christmas and he is in the uniform of the 4th Hesse-Homburg Hussar Regt. I find these older figures (it must be 40 years since Hinchliffe started producing figures?) have more character than the modern ones do , a certain style ! . He is now off to join my Austrian army as a Brigadier of the cavalry.