Today’s pic is a reminder of what we really do… nothing to do with REAL WAR who should be banished IMHO… those unable to distinguish between those concepts are to be pitied. I guess genetically programed to fight to survive it is very difficult to do not fall into the Von Clausewitz’s trap … it is not right to pursue diplomacy and politics by “other means” and that’s that.
I once sold a collection of ACW Playmobils because I did not want my grandchildren to fight brother against brother… LOL… if I had new they will enjoy playing videogames with plenty of shooting and killing with machine/laser/guns… oh dear!… I feel like a Neanderthal sometimes…
Recently have bought Playmobils (AGAIN) Prussians to fight the Brits at Dorking à la Wells… missile launched from canons… hope that the smaller of my grandchildren will appreciate… have my doubts (sometimes he thinks older than me).
There was a time I did just that (see elsewhere in this webpage) amassed hundreds of Minifigs which I did paint myself laboriously and at the end of it I gloriously wargamed Waterloo with my younger brother!… those were the days I am afraid… I got a big crisis in regard of the scale and the table needed and sold them all (they live in Switzerland nowadays). I thought that my wargaming days were ended… and somehow they were… I still collect but not much of my time in the hobby is employed in wargaming at all… I do collect wargames minis in 6mm and have a lot of mega-scenarios in my head… but only in my head… I do not know if I ever will put them to practice anymore…
You will excuse the featureless terrain… but the Afghan plain is “plain”. The object of the pic is to show you one of the most important bonus of 6mm (God’s Own Scale they say) no secure flanks… room to manoeuvre… and a sense of space and shooting distances you do not have on the bigger scales (of course you can. paint more detail in 10,15,28mm you name it) but I love the sense of proportion (an urbanist by academic formation I like the smaller scales matter of fact). Just to make you think a bit about where wargaming is going nowadays… for better or for worse…
It looks old fashioned I agree but I personally find delightful… I could indulge in it myself because I have enough 54mm Toy Soldiers to do it properly BUT… the idea of an scenario FASHODA like incident pitting British against French is complicated… first I would have to move the figures from its present place to Andorra la Vella… and then… once done (not so easy task if you are a maniatic like me to avoid chipping of the paintjobs) it means I would have to reorganize the minis in the cabinets yet again!… NOT sure at all… better stick to 6mm in Andorra la Vella and keep the 54mm collection in Pal.
Yesterday I started painting the 4 figures provided by Paul Watson… doubts about posting the process or limit myself to the finished job… nagging doubts!
I am afraid I did not keep the references of the pic (because I doubted to include it in the webpage)… You see I put the foot down at 1900… I guess as an european I do not like to be reminded of the first (Europe’s Imperial Suicide) WWI or the second (WWII) much more global if you ask me… and full of horrors too hard to digest. I do not like “modern war”… airplanes bombing civilians… mustard gas… V1 or V2… you have your choice pick it yourselves… I do respect the courage of the common foot soldiers involved of course (I am not callous)… but count me out… not even in boardgames.
So, as you need all sorts (as I keep reminding you) I would firmly stay in an era of shiny Toy Soldiers (preferably with gaudy uniforms and officer’s leading from the front)… my only Khaki exception is the second Anglo-Afghan War, but that is what it is… an exception! (wily Afghans are too good long shooters for gaudy uniforms…).
My first love when I discovered metal soldiers was the Waterloo battle (see elsewhere in this same web page), then I was convinced that it was a British/French affair (lol)… much later I discovered the King’s German Legion, The Hanoverians, The Dutch&Belgian, the Nassauers and of course the Prussians! (LOL). It was a long journey… and now at seventy I know that the main pleasure was in the “journey”… all those years buying books, reading about it, checking (and double-checking ) my Armies compositions etc etc etc.
It was a great hobby, and I was entertained for more or around thirty years by it!… I have no regrets. But I must comment that one of the things that put me out of it was when the “finish of the painting job” become Military Modeling like!… I have nothing against it mind… but in my mind the point was not there, the pic of today shows what can be achieved in that scale (and inferiors too) by extremely good painters. Transforming a wargames unit (I must admit I was more Toy Soldier focused) in a mini diorama. You need all sorts you know!… Suddenly my painfully researched and balanced Waterloo Armies looked as “past” as a British Two Seater if you know what I mean (my other hobby been cars). So I quitted.
Not wargaming mind, I still have the thrills!, but you’ll need a magnifying glass to see my 6mm ACW paintjobs! (lol again)… seriously even having a permanent quite big table (see elsewhere in the webpage) I love to have more “room to manoeuvre”… “no secure flanks”… and “lines of supply”… I understand perfectly the trend to downsize the minis and have more fun with the game itself. Now I simply collect in the traditional 54mm scale (as I have always done), display them on cabinets ad hoc… and wargame in 6mm.
Mind, I still love those units as the pic of today shows but my time for them has passed away, nor I have the room to field them, nor the funds or time to get them “right” (I have abstained to enter in the argument of “parade look” versus “campaign look” on purpose… I always preferred the former…).
So, without much more to say today… I will let you ponder on it. Enjoy.
First two pics by John Firth and the last by John Clarke. All easy to see in Facebook if you go to A GENTLEMAN’S WAR group… I dutifully bought the rules by Howard Whitehouse… they are fun to read… but not what I do with 54mm Toy Soldiers… You need all sorts you know…
Those are very fine Toy Soldiers and excellently painted, I do not use mine with those rules, and I have to say they are more “historically collected” and only for display because I have them in 6mm too… and there is where I wargame…
Funny, today I have a bit of time to write… well… the pic is to the point… by then I mixed and matched manufacturers… I did find DIXON horses fantastic coupled with FOUNDRY riders (but not exclusively… TO THE REDOUBT and OLD GLORY too!).
It was the apex of my involvement in wargaming on that scale, I had a moderate surplus of bits and pieces from here and there and I could easily change “heads” at will with my PROXON minidrill and vice… had a lot of horses of discarded projects (that I would use in fancy units as the mounted Regiment of the French Foreign Legion)… and life in the hobby was FUN.
I still used painting services for the rank and file, and only did paint myself “specials” or closer to my heart subjects. You see I had NO time enough to paint because my real life as an Architect used my time… and I have a family too!… so the only way was to organize, list, buy, get the parcels, customize, send the biggest part to the painters with full instructions… and paint a little myself.
I enjoyed those years of my hobby to the full because time was so scarce. I am older now… over seventy (bot my grandfather and father were dead at my age)… no longer can I have fantasies about long term projects… I’ve done that, been there, got the T-Shirt as they say… but surely enough those new technologies help me pass the time and share my experiences with other people with similar interests.
The Michigan Brigade of Volunteers is a pet subject (as the ACW is) and Custer was better served in the Civil War than in his “Indian times”… the famous 7th had NOT the same stamina as the wolverines… understandable too of course… I own more than a hundred volumes on the Little Big Horn and after reading them… you can have a moderate sympathy with Custer as a man doing his job… but the so called “Indian Wars” were frustrating from a military point of view.
That Custer is better known for his death in a NO WIN situation that for his campaigning in the ACW is one of those ironies in History.
Wow!… time to write without interruptions for a change!… count the present one as an extra Post. Hope you enjoy too.