Bill Horan’s Own 2023

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I am an admirer of his work. Military Modeling at it’s BEST!

Those around FILADELFIA (Philly) can see them for themselves in the near future! If I have understood alright.

Enjoy the craftsmanship.

The Guards Colours in the Crimean War… (Won Best Historical 2023 in Philly!)
Highland Light Infantry I guess…
Looks like Camel Corps
Highlander helping a sailor…

Playing with Toy Soldiers (Gavin Holliday’s Own) part III

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Already another Post is in Facebook… do not know if I will publish here… do not know why the more the number of Posts on a subject the less Hits it gets… I guess the majority likes “something new all the time”.


I do what I can really!


The Cavalry goes on reconnaissance…
Hussars… or Light Cavalry…
Small number commanded by a NCO.

Cavalry on the plains (II) Little Big Horn.

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Dave Mitchell’s Own as seen in Facebook…

OK it is a Little Big Horn diorama… but that is probably the peak of the Plains Indian Wars… have read a lot of books about it and not the wiser about “How”… “Where” “When” “Why” and “Whom” is pretty clear I guess.

The precise movements and actions of Custer’s Battalion and HQ (Cos C,E,F,I & L) are still a matter of debate today… because there were not survivors… the situation of the corps of the deceased or massacred gives some hints of where they died… but not the order of the deaths.

Here you are… you seemed to like the last Post about it…


Looks like Little Big Horn…
Of course it is…
Excellent diorama
A lot of work there…
Not mere collecting…

Cavalry on the plains. (I)

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U.S. Cavalry has always been a cherished subject since childhood… those John Ford movies did an everlasting work!

I saw this on Facebook (by Dave Mitchell) the other day and thought maybe change a little from Antietam in 6mm (You all must be tired of the subject by now!).



I know it is Custer’s 7th
Spectacular fall…
Another view…


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There are seven Posts so far… but that does not mean it equals seven turns or seven hours… so do not extrapolate please… it is a slow and quite parsimonious tale.

After chaotic fighting for the cornfield Hooker’s First Division retires and he throws in his other two divisions supported by Artillery. The Confederates also replaced their tired troops by fresh one’s and the fighting continues.

Sumner is advancing as planned and so is Mansfield!

The morning goes on… but the day is young yet… Burnside continues doing nothing… (except sending cavalry patrols to find a ford) McClellan is worried by his imaginary inferiority in numbers (THAT is very difficult to translate to the tabletop… but I guess having Franklin and Porter in RESERVE account for that!).

I can only play about an hour or so a day (and not everyday because real life intrudes a lot… but it is fantastic to have a permanent table in a safe place!… you know what I mean…no one is messing with the tabletop at all… but me)

So far so good. satisfied… still working on mechanisms but the battle flows quite right!


Follow up…
The Rebs have the cornfield (again)
Union passage of lines (retreating through fresh advancing Divisions…
Louisiana Tigers advancing…
Union fresh Brigades attack!
The clash!
Not through yet!… more to come…

Playing with Toy Soldiers (Gavin Holliday’s Own) part II

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For once I will repeat a text entirely!

“In a way, a suite of pics that shows that it is easy to roleplay (in fact it was not even called roleplaying at all back then) with 54mm vintage Toy Soldiers… and “damn the torpedoes”…

Eclectic? Yes

Old Fashioned? Yes

Childish? Yes

Fun? Yes



Trrops cross over pontoon bridge!
Seen from the back (queuing in fact).

All wargames deserve due RESPECT! (Steve Snark’s Own as seen in facebook)

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Do not tell me this Post is childish because it isn’t… wonderful Fortification or Castle (what you prefer), nice Toy Soldiers… and a PURPOSE!

Yes, the British are attacking the Russians!… it smacks of the Crimean war (War was War back then.. you know!)

How can you play (unashamedly) with Toy Sodiers…


A russian castle… Sebastopol?
Fearsome guns!
The attack begins!
A lateral view…
Final rush!


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As promised… a division of Hooker’s Corps goes forward, a Brigade simply refused to move so instead of 4 brigades only 3 make the attack… Confederates have their problems too. All that because one thing is “to move around in the countryside” and other to move against an enemy. (Dice involved simulated field of vision and local orography… but also excuses -read officer’s characteristics-to do not move…).

So I used red and blue dices to show the relative strength in numbers of Brigades. Those are added to a six sided dice result and there must be a real difference in pips to have a decisive result (one or two pips difference are ignored)… More in following attacks. Brigades have a tendency to stand or even recoil quite easily… more difficult to press attacks… There was even a case of enfilade fire that did not succeed!… I had fun (not guaranteed)!

As I have said before 4 turns is the maximum “time” (time is flexible again) a Brigade can stand on the frontline fighting… afterwards must retire tired even if victorious… some exceptions will be worked on further on. This is shown with the use of white and black mini dice. So in fact I micromanage the fights that seems “hours” to participants… while the rest of the Corps (both sides) await results.

Quite if not completely satisfied with the first experimental solo rules… ties where resolved with the turn of a card for each side… if that also (it did not happen) was a tie I have gone to the deck of ultra rare or unpredictable tides of war situations that happened in real life.

My kind of “game” is quite impartial and develops like a film or scene… I am an spectator of it… but I expect Armies to behave like the Historical one’s. So far so good.

More next days.


Some Brigades get lost or simply not move. Uncoordinated movements.
Long distance firefight. Skirmish.
Firing inside the Cornfield.
General view of First Division (Union) attack.
Sort of Climax.
Still polishing rules but satisfied.
End of first fight! (for the moment) Yellow markers means it is the end of the fight for those Brigades.


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Guess this afternoon I will proceed to reenact the first clash between Hooker and Jackson… it is slow sometimes I agree… but I am still experimenting with command&control and combat mechanisms. It must be tiresome to follow… but at least you have plenty of pics (curiously enough my mobile phone does it better than my old camera)…

My table is flat (got criticized by that in facebook) which does not mean the real terrain was flat at all that is taken care of by visibility options but also the fact that once firing starts smoke and noise will prevent God’s Own View… I mean it is probably God’s Own Scale… but the troops engaged where “lost” in the chaos of the firefight.

One of my phobias concerning Toy Soldiers is stands “balancing” in imposible positions over railroad scenery modeling terrain… sorry chaps… but this is what it is… neither troops fighting on top of woods a la LITTLE WARS TV way (which has very good points and creativity -aka Trafalgar- but not that particular one!)

Hope you follow me.


Aerial view.
Hooker’s attack
Lees’s left flank
Sumner’s advance
Lee’s HQ with foreign observers…
Bottom right Burnside’s bridge
Confederate Army of Northern Virginia… Sunken Road represented by a rail fence.

This is how all started… (pics excepting the first one… by Christopher Joseph) as seen in facebook!

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Maybe for me (not a single pic is of my Toy Soldiers at all… not even the Castle… but close enough).

Wood building blocks… in my cas they were cork… Britain’s in red tunics!… there you got it! (BUT lots of other not so nice soldiers buuut… deligthful in their way too… they were not even lead).

To have Britain’s in the Nineteen Fifties in Barcelona (Spain) was a rare luxury… and I had them thanks to a trip to London of my Pa&Ma (How they translate THAT BIG BOX in THAT TIME eludes me… maybe a Hamley’s purchase?… on a plane (Do you remembre the commercial planes of the fifties?)…

Whatever… have not stopped collecting the stuff since then.


BTW Nice framed posters on the walls…

No idea where I did find this pic SORRY!
Christopher Joseph Collection as the rest…