Little Big Horn 25-06

54mm Military Modeling, Andrea Miniatures…. what everyone’s has in mind.

Anniversary today. What do you want me to say that has not been said hundreds of times? A NO WIN-NO WIN situation if it ever was one. And I am only trying to be realistic. The only order Custer never gave was GET BACK! and that was the only clever one. Of course it was against his character to do that.

To begin at the beginning, I saw They died with their boots on when a child, terrible ending Anthony Quinn shooting Errol Flynn at the end. It become an obsession to play with my toy soldiers that battle. The passion is still there today but much well understood in context -I own and have read more than a hundred books about it- and I think Custer had no chance at all.

When a serious orthodox wargamer I was very frustrated by the lack of figures. Finally going for Minifigs in 15mm because they were the only one’s to do the range. I never painted a single figure all went to the painters, and I had hundreds of Indians (on these days I always bought the opposition). Never fought a game with them.

Just then FOUNDRY did the range in 28mm, I sold the 15mm (they were the only 15mm I ever got -if you do not count a Peter Laing’s Crimean effort who come to nothing- and did it all again. I even did some conversions mind. A nice set who was sold as the rest of 25/28m when my personal crisis with that scale turned the tables.

Last Stand Hill in 28mm, mainly Foundry 7th, Indians from any manufacturer who did them.

Of course since then, as with all lifelong obsessions, I have seen the rest of the films about it, even the silent one with Francis Ford on the leading rol (the elder brother of John Ford), probably one of the best is the TV miniseries Son of the morning star but Keogh’s outfit does not appear in it… shameful oblivion for a purist. If a bit of a Custerophile avoid like the pest Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman, hippie culture revisionism of the worst kind. You’ve been warned.

It was one of my first Baccus proxies project, at least mounted they have a chance. I have no intention to build Reno’s and Benteen’s battalions they will never come.

6mm Baccus proxies (ACW range with cutted out sabers)… Get Back!… if you can…was probably the only sensible option after a few minutes of it.
The different stands needed to play the game. “E” troop mounted, skirmish line with horseholders, last hope with dead horses as ramparts and horses running. Do that for the 5 co’s and HQ. ACW Confederate cavalry with hat slightly modified or “converted”… no sabers at the LBH excepting two officers.

One of the things that makes it attractive is because it is the great “Greek Tragedy” of the “manifest destiny” idea, and on top of all… it comes at the commemoration of the Centenary celebrations… 1776-1876. The famed boy general of the American Civil War massacred!… that was the swan song of the Native Americans. Retribution for Custer was the only policy from then on…

Seriously, I enjoy trying to get out of the mess on the wargames table, but the only way is if Custer dies early on… and the next in command tries to get away from there! Not heroic? of course not. But I am talking about having a chance. Both Reno and Benteen have been vilified ad nauseam -with some reason mind- because they did not die there and then. History has been hard on them, specially Reno who was routed by himself and “charged to the rear” botching Benteen’s approach and even that of the pack train! I guess it is a fascinating little battle or skirmish because relative minor numbers were involved. I still do not know what will I do if Peter decides to make the range and Indians become available… Oh dear!… not again…

Great Battles of the World series… get the Indians if you can choose! A game that starts when all is already lost!
Playmobils 75mm, still in my collection, in a matter of seconds can be used for the ACW too… I am selling this part (the last) of my old Playmobil collection for 900 euros + free extra pieces to convert to ACW units etc. Contact at adb@andorra.ad

An useful FaceBook link is: Little Big Horn Discussion Group

or: https://www.facebook.com/groups/459982074026290/

Cheers.

Waterloo 18-06

Lateral view of the French Army , D’Erlon´s Corps and the Grand battery… mainly 25mm Minifigs… a passion that lasted at least a quarter of a Century!

I was going to post another theme and suddenly I realized it was the 18th of June. So what? Well, first thing first, when you have dedicated the best years of your wargaming life to Napoleon and Wellington -the later specially related with Waterloo- you need to acknowledge the fact. It is true that I did collect all nations at the very end of my Napoleonic period, adding Austrians, Russians, Spanish, Swedes and what not… but the main interest was for years the battle of Waterloo. It became an obsession, of course the more I read about it and the more I studied the thing it become evident that Napoleon’s days were over since 1812, and that the decision to invade Spain in 1808 to get to Portugal was a huge mistake, but as a whole, for all the might of France and his leader you simply can not take all Europe against YOU and expect to win in the end. I could talk about Leipzig but for what purpose?… My myth and the myth of so many other wargamers round the world is the final showdown at WATERLOO. There are even those who ignore the Hundred Days campaign and forget about Ligny and Quatre Bras… it is always WATERLOO!. And nobody cares about Wavre and Grouchy… heve an excellent book about it by the way.

Waterloo. Mainly 25mm MINIFIGS (99%), some Garrison and others to fill gaps on the range. A view from the French side at the start of the battle. The top of my big table -at work- was already green for wargaming purposes…

I was fascinated reading about it by the way the British have done an excellent propaganda job about it, only digging a bit you understand the real number of Brits in it, the Allied Army and so on… you finally understand that as the joke says “you can not have enough Prussians”. German books insist that they won the battle. But what was even more puzzling is that the French stop short to call it a Victory!, only a cumuli of circumstances makes them retreat at the end after having won the battle at 18:00… damn Ney, damn Grouchy, damn the Prussians, damn whatever and anybody but The Emperor who as you know never did nothing wrong… that is the stuff of legends.

Napoleon and his staff. The page at his left was painted by my brother.

So, I do not apologize for being so mesmerized by it for so many time, it was great fun, and I did paint all those minis myself (to know the right uniforms was a joy and time well spent), French, British&Allies and Prussians. No painting services used excepting some ADC’s. Boxes of unpainted lead on top of the cupboards for years, trips to Southampton and chats with Mr. Neville Dickinson included when annual vacations permitted (later they become compulsory… 30% less because no postage, no bayonets broken in transit, see for yourself, etc. The MINIFIGS Catalogue was my bedtime read companion for years.

Ok, that’s enough. You all know how it was ad nauseam and how the British used “his victory”as a jumping platform to build an Empire (another myth because it all started with the Seven Years War and later with Naval supremacy after Nelson’s Victory at Trafalgar!). I add some pics and that would be it!

Almost forgot to mention the immense pleasure for me that is “bath- tubing”, how to get proportional forces present in the field was a hobby inside the hobby. It would be easy with my experience to do it again in 6mm because even if the packs from Peter are a bit oversized in matters of numbers for say the Guard Cavalry… you can use the redundant figures as Elite Dragoons of the Line (bearskin), and Elite Chasseurs of the Line (colpack), a couple per stand do the trick and enhance your wargames table with the real flavour, making the units so true to life!

Wellington under “his” tree.
Close up of the Heavy Cavalry of the Imperial Guard, FOUNDRY officer of Horse Grenadiers. I finally added trumpeters and Standard-bearers in the final stages of my obsession.
Another view from the Allied side. See the Scots Grey’s?… one of my first ever buys…
Close up of British “Heavies”, Life Guards and Heavy Dragoons.
Close up of Allied Light Cavalry.
British and Hanoverian Infantry.
That was my solo Waterloo effort and that’s that. can see some Old Glory Cuirassiers on the left.
The Prussians arrival in the field…
Centre bottom the Gordon Highlanders… the first Minifigs unit I ever painted.
Just for fun… I even started customizing Playmobils!… I stopped there with those two.

I still buy books about the Napoleonic era, and only a strong will refrains me to go Napoleonic again with Baccus (of course), the sheer magnitude of the task, the long span of time, the different uniforms in many campaigns and the idea it will all be for nothing -because he really stood no chance against the whole lot of them- helps me to it. I will only indulge in that with a Club like the Little Wars TV chaps… but none to be seen for miles around!