David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.



Thursday, 11 August 2022

I have been to...

 ... Warhammer, the store formerly known as Games Workshop, AKA 'The Great Satan'👿. 

Not only have I been inside, but I have bought more than my usual bottle of Steel Legion Drab, formerly known as Graveyard Earth, or Agrax Earth wash! But before the condemned historical wargamer is marched off to meet his fate, I plead special circumstances! Two of our grandsons are having a staycation with us and, as you'd expect with them being Matt's boys, they are already keen painters of figures and players of Heroquest and such! 

So Grandad has gamely braved the evils of Fantasy figures🧝🧙🏻‍♂️🧛, and even of plaaastic, and taken them to the Warhammer store in Wolverhampton to buy them some Lord of the Rings boxed sets..Greater Love and all that! I have to say the Store Manager treated them wonderfully, free sprue and free magazine each, as well as taking them around and showing them some things they might like. Sadly though, no Dwarves in stock. Too busy defending the Lonely Mountain no doubt... and what of me you ask? Why, two bottles of Steel Legion Drab paint! I used to think their paints exorbitantly expensive, but after yesterday's trip I'm not so sure anymore... Luckily my recent order from Redoubt Enterprises of a regiment of Provincial infantry for the F&IW expansion project arrived while we were out and about and my Warbases order is marked as despatched, so the world according to GHQ is back in kilter!

Monday, 8 August 2022

B.A.O.R. additional vehicles

As I mentioned before, in an earlier post on this theme, Phil has been kindly helping me in this project by wielding his air brush over the various vehicles in the collection. Those featured in this blog post are all from Butler's Printed Models which I think are splendid little wargames models. I'm merely responsible for adding transfers, basing and applying texture, static grass and tufts to finish off each model.

A Rapier anti-aircraft battery on the move.
Long wheelbase Land Rover, for the HQ, or for the S.A.S detachment in games.
Land Rover Ambulance. A bit of fluff for the tabletop. At present it's lacking the Red Cross markings as I've no transfers in house!
Land Rover 101 Forward Control, intended for my HQ on the tabletop.

I'm still working on the deployed version of the Rapier battery, the parts are very small and fiddly I've found. I've converted a figure to man the control for the system, but he's still waiting to be painted! In the small Plastic Pimple now are two Harrier ground attack aircraft kits for the RAF and two SU-17 fighter-bomber kits for the Soviets, as well as the T55s I mention in the earlier post. It's strange isn't it how our projects seem to grow almost as if of their own accord? Oh well...


Saturday, 6 August 2022

CWGH Soviet additions.

 Just before I skipped off 'oop north' I handed Phil the extra vehicles I had prepared for the CWGH project. Last Tuesday he handed them back to me ready to be based up and the transfers applied as appropriate. I confess though I did do just a little bit extra to the vehicles first though...

These are the three Soviet additions: firstly a plastic kit from Battlefront, an AS-9 Gaskin missile launcher; and, secondly, two 3D prints from Butlers Printed Models, a Ural lorry, attached to the HQ, and a UAZ-469 all terrain vehicle for my SPETNATZ squad. (As an aside, there are two helicopters with Phil still to be sprayed and I have five Plastic Soldier Company T55s waiting to be assembled. I'm confident that the former will be with me in a few days but the latter must wait a while as I've other things presently ahead of them in the queue.)

The Butlers vehicles are lovely little models very suitable for wargaming. While it is true that the layered striations from the printing process can be noticed, especially on the top surface of vehicles, I am confident that you'll not pay it any attention in the games! They are 15mm wargaming models after all and as such I recommend them wholeheartedly! It doesn't do to overthink stuff if you ask me, it's a hobby after all at the end of the day!

Thursday, 4 August 2022

A War Party is raised.

In the early C18th many Mohicans settled in the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts and from there derived their name amongst the Colonial population of Stockbridge natives. The Stockbridge Indians allowed Moravian Protestant missionaries to live among them. As a consequence of this exposure to missionary activity during the early part of the 18th century, many converted to Christianity, while keeping certain traditions of their own. They fought on the side of the British colonists in the French and Indian War. 
As you will no doubt recall I've been plodding on painting up my first Galloping Major figures to represent the Stockbridge Indians in my British and Colonial force for games set in the F&IW. I already have several groups of Redoubt Enterprises' First Nations figures and wanted something different for this additional element of the force. These four bases of figures allow the creation of a more Europeanised looking war party while the next four bases I'm working on now will be the variant with more of a Mohican look about them ~
Together these will provide me at first with two Regular sized war parties in Black Powder terms, though they will be sufficiently interchangeable with each other to allow Large and Small sized units to be fielded in the games.  You'll need to keep an eye out for a post about progress on this second war party in the coming week!
While we are on the subject of the F&IW, I've just made two small orders for additional figures. From Redoubt Enterprises I've ordered some Provincial infantry for the British force and a French command pack for my Compagnies Franches de la Marine, as I have the splendid flags from David of the Not By Appointment blog! From Eureka UK I've ordered some Highlanders in North American garb. Not cheap, but I felt I ought to branch out a little in acquiring new elements. Both purchases are courtesy of a refund on my credit card, so at nil extra cost to the war chest!

Monday, 1 August 2022

The War Party is growing in numbers

 Just before Sue and I left for our trip to Yorkshire I finished a second base of Galloping Major figures representing the Stockbridge tribes allied with the British in the French and Indian War. I didn't have the time to get them photographed before we left, so they've had to languish on their lonesome for a couple of weeks before I could show them to you on the blog. As I've already completed a third base since getting back home you can now see them both ~

And to save you scrolling back through last month's posts, the first base I completed ~

That leaves me with one more base, this time featuring three figures, to complete this grouping of figures representing the Stockbridge tribes. There is a second grouping of four bases also featuring Galloping Major figures, though these sport the different look of the Mohawk hair style. I'd like to add some Provincials to the British forces and some Militia to the French in due course if the war chest will allow. More on that ambition as and when I've counted my remaining shekels...

Thursday, 28 July 2022

History? It's All Around Us!

 I have spent the morning in Hornsea 's museum of local history, located in several historic buildings right on the High Street ~

The buildings include an C18th farm house, on the left, and buildings related to Hornsea Pottery. As you'd expect there's a great deal about domestic and agricultural life, which my peasant genes connected with joyously ~

Above, the kitchen range. Below, the farm's Dairy. As both might have appeared in the C19th.
Of course, every community large or more modest in size, has its own connections with Britain's wars at home and overseas, with Hornsea being no exception to the rule. The museum has many exhibits dealing with the contribution the local population made to our country's war efforts in many conflicts. I'd like to share just a few with you if you don't mind ~
A direct link to the Burn family, tennants on the farm for over 300 years.
Serving in the 9th Lancers in the Boer War and in the Great War too.
Of course the Victorian period was the great age of the Volunteer Company. Several items in one display showcase the East Riding Yeomanry Artillery.
The unit's ammunition case c1870.
Cap badge and model of a member of the unit.
The typical Tommy went off to war in 1914 in this uniform.
I have never seen the Imperial Camel Corps commemorated in any local history museum, so a first for me!
Service for many men and women spanned both the Great War and WWII of course. More than any previous conflict, WWII was a total war involving every citizen in the country's war effort. So, the Home Front beyond Dad's Army should be commemorated too ~
The air raid shelter saved many a life I'm sure...
...though the 'home comforts' might be a bit on the basic side.
A few signs appropriate to my theme...
...this one in particular emphasising the danger posed even after a raid.
One feature of Hornsea is it's mere, a large body of fresh water, the largest in Yorkshire. The mere played it's part in the Great War as a base for the Royal Naval Air Service and their fight against the German's U Boat menace ~
The RNAS's seaplane, the Sopwith Baby operated on anti submarine patrols from the mere.
Flying an early biplane was far from a comfortable experience...
...with pilots and observers needing ample protection from the cold at altitude.
The RNAS had its own adapted buttons on its uniforms featuring not the anchor of the RN but the albatross!
Late in the war the RNAS and the RFC were merged to form the newest arm of service, the RAF.
Uniform of a sergeant in the RFC. The army's khaki would give way to the RAF's blue-grey.
The new service would have its own distinctive gallantry awards too. Though like much else they would be tarnished by pointless class divisions!
Of course as wargamers we should never forget that, unlike our games, war has an all too human cost ~
Separation from loved ones was a temporary trauma for many...
...but a permanent grief for all too many.

Our family has been spared that trauma gratefully but we can all take a moment to remember those who have not.
If you are ever in the area I'd really recommend a visit. At £5 it's a snip!





Saturday, 23 July 2022

The Reality behind our games?




Memorials and standards of the 15th Yorkshire East Riding Regiment in Beverley Minster.

"A moth-eaten rag on a worm-eaten pole, It doesn't look likely to stir a man's soul; 'Tis the deeds that were done 'neath the moth-eaten rag When that pole was a staff and the rag was a Flag."