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.

Friday, 24 September 2021

ADC to the CinC, Army of the Pendawar Presidency

 A single Perry Miniatures mounted officer in bicorne to serve as an ADC to the CinC, Army of the Pendawar Presidency ~

While I do prefer the officers in tropical issue topper, for this figure I wanted the officer in bicorne and with hair in a queue in order that he clearly stands out in a game! {Age and eyesight you see!} The other figures in the pack are destined for the role of regimental colonels as a variant of the figures in topper commanding the other European regiments lurking in the Lead Pimple which still await painting. 

Meanwhile I'm well on with the painting of a unit of New Jersey Volunteer Infantry for my ACW Union army. Do I need more? Well, not really of course, but you must know how it is...

Monday, 20 September 2021

Enhancing the look of my deployed Union Artillery...

 ...after a rather long hiatus you might say! Back in the day, when the world was young, I bought and painted up several limbers to place behind deployed Artillery batteries in my ACW games. At the time I thought them splendid additions to the collection, but as is inevitably the case time moves ever on and things evolve and change. They were looking a bit tired and worn I thought.

So last year, just after the first lockdown eased, Spirit Games in Burton on Trent closed its brick hobby store and moved to solely mail order, holding a closing down sale with generous discounts on Dixon Miniatures ACW amongst others. I trolled over of course and amongst my purchases that day were a number of Union officers which I had plans for in new settings for the limbers. Of course they then languished in the Lead Pimple, as things do... But, no more, they are done and added to the limbers and accompanying figures and bits to make new additions to my deployed Union Artillery! I ought to think about their Confederate counterparts next I suppose...

In the meantime, I've started another Union infantry regiment, some New Jersey Volunteer Infantry using more Dixon Miniatures ACW figures purchased in the Spirit Games shop's closing down sale.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Eden Camp

 It was a tad damp yesterday, so Sue and I opted for a visit to the museum at Eden Camp, a WWII POW camp converted to a museum. At £15 a piece it may seem pricey to some I know, but you could easily spend several hours there. Sadly our visit coincided with a Visit by Primary School children, not my favourite species as a former High School teacher! They get under your feet I find! The museum tells the story of WWII, and its aftermath, from the Treaty of Versailles to Afghanistan. The displays are informative and interesting, though one or two as you'll see are decidedly odd we thought...

"Tomorrow Belongs to Me!" Thankfully not, but this is the odd first scene you encounter. Disturbing I thought.
Period assessment of the state of war readiness...
...and Nazi German propaganda posters.
A universal carrier. The camouflage pattern is interesting.
V1, not as big as I thought.
Controlling Fighter Command's response to Blitz attacks by the Luftwaffe.
A 251 in early war grey.
German 150mm gun {12 points Table 4?}
Women's War work, both my mother and Sue's mother worked at Kynocks in Birmingham during the war. We wonder if they ever met...
The Prefab solution to the rehousing crisis after the war. In Stockland Green, Birmingham and in part of Wolverhampton a number have continued in use to today, though now they are brick clad and thoroughly modern inside. In their day those bombed out folk rehoused in them were very impressed usually.
Britain's air defence zones. I wonder if they've changed much today?
Finally, and apologies in advance if the swastika offends, but a vignette display of Adolf in his cell working on Mein Kampf. {Matt tells me he dictated it to Hess though, so not accurate!}
A grand day out, thoroughly recommend if you are near Malton, North Yorkshire. 

Monday, 13 September 2021

Out & About

 A few days R&R on the North Yorkshire coast near Filey. Went to explore Flamborough Head yesterday and amidst all the nature reserve information something on the AWI naval encounter off the Head ~

Coincidentally the day before I'd say in in Fish & Chip restaurant in Filey eating my Pensioner's Special under a naval map of the action off Scarborough during the early months of WWI.

For those of a more medieval lilt I've been to a Norman Manor at Burton Agnes Hall. It's clad in C17th brick but inside it boasts a Norman crypt and above the remains of the Norman living quarters, beneath a C15th timber roof.

Burton Agnes Hall was built in 1603 and boasts some fine original carvings in wood, plaster and marble. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Plenty of inspiration in both for scratch builders and kit bashers I thought. I also popped to Mighty Lancer Games in Bridlington as I'm in the area. What did I buy? A large pot of GW Nul Oil. Last of the big spenders.....

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

55th New York State Militia...

 ...otherwise known as the 'Gardes Lafayette'. 

The regiment was composed in the main of French immigrant volunteers and was first attached to Peck's Brigade, Buell's Division, Army of the Potomac up until March 1862. It transferred then to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, IV Corps, Army of the Potomac to September 1862 and then to the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps until November 1862. Lastly the regiment transferred to the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps up until December 1862. 

The 55th saw action at Williamsburg, Seven Pines, the Seven Days Battles, Malvern Hill and Fredericksburg before disbandment and amalgamation of the survivors with the 12th New York Infantry.        

Their unusual uniforms, typical of many early war volunteer units in many ways, made them a suitable addition for my ACW collection to more readily represent the earlier stages of the conflict. In this they join the Garibaldi Guards and the 14th N.Y.S.M. or Brooklyn Chasseurs in that aspect of the project. 

The figures , as you might guess, are from my preferred choice in Dixon Miniatures of course and the flags from Flags of War, with bases from Warbases as ever.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Journey long before me lies

 On Saturday Matt and I drove over to Newark-on-Trent to be present when Duncan's ashes were scattered on the river, from the bank opposite Newark Castle. An entirely appropriate place for one of the hobby's greats to begin his final journey. The scattering was accompanied by a reading by Laurence of Bilbo's Last Song, which I reproduce below. Many of Duncan's friends and colleagues were there, adding to the joy in celebration of a life well lived!

"Day is ended, dim my eyes,
but journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship's beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free;
I hear the rising of the Sea.

Farewell, friends! The sails are set,
the wind is east, the moorings fret.
Shadows long before me lie,
beneath the ever-bending sky,
but islands lie behind the Sun
that I shall raise ere all is done;
lands there are to west of West,
where night is quiet and sleep is rest.

Guided by the Lonely Star,
beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I'll find the heavens fair and free,
and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
Ship, my ship! I seek the West,
and fields and mountains ever blest.
Farewell to Middle-earth at last.
I see the Star above my mast!"

Thursday, 2 September 2021

The Little People

 On Wednesday evening I popped over to Jon's for the first time since March last year for a game. I must point out that this state of affairs was just the culmination of circumstances neither of us were in control of in the form mostly of Borisbans and Jon's erratic working patterns. Back to the game then, in the form of a Marlburian battle using the Black Powder rule set and his collection of 10mm armies.


As an aside Jon has collections in a number of scales as I knew, but I'd only ever gamed before with his 20mm WWII or 28mm ACW or Crimean War collections. This was the first time I'd even seen the 10mm WSS collection in person and I must say I was really taken with the look of both the game overall and the individual regiments. Briefly then, despite my best efforts in feigning on my left, throwing back his cavalry on my right, and driving forward with massed infantry brigades in my centre the French of the Comte du Merde failed to achieve the objective of taking the road and so ceded the field to the Allied army under Lord Walton.  Some scenes from the action then ~

I'm sure that even on my day I could not have enjoyed painting such small figures, Lord knows I found 15mm figures hard enough back in the day, but I really liked the way the smaller scale created the illusion of a battlefield on a 6'x4' table. I would definitely play this again, great fun despite my loss!