Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Vickers Armstong Ltd photograph albums

After a very pleasant morning at Beamish Museum's Regional Resource Centre I am better informed and have seen some marvellous photographs.. The albums have been in the Museum's collection since the late 1960s. There are two albums: one has an index (pictured above, poor photograph taken today) and the other does not. The contents start with Little Willie (1915) and go up to about 1947, though the WW11 stuff is mostly of Valentines of various sorts.

I don't recall seeing any of the photographs in the albums before - they tend to be factory shots. Highlights include four Birch guns together, a number of pictures of a Vickers Medium bridging tank, and a couple of pictures of the Burford Kegresse MG carrier, one from the front and one from the year.

The museum is going to send me all the images on CD and has given me permission to post them. I will have to work out the best way to do this but there should be some very interesting material starting to come out soon.

And I felt  I was able to give something back as I was able to tell them the difference between a male and a female tank.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Interwar tank development by Vickers Armstrong Ltd - exciting news

This picture is another from the Wonder Book of Soldiers but the good news is I have heard back very promptly from Beamish Museum.

The photographs listed and mentioned in my last post are from two large albums which came from Vickers. As I undesrtand it there may be more photographs than currently listed on the web site but they have been digitised already. I am going to arrange a time to view the albums and will be able to request copies of images. I will see if I can get pernission to post some of the most interesting ones here.

It will be good to see if the photographs from the company records are previously unknown or possibly well reproduced elsewhere.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

More interwar goodness

Another pic from the Wonder Book of Soldiers. The wheels on the Carden Loyds identify them as Mark Vs, as used for recce by the Experimental Mechanised Force

I have been intrigued to find 153 records listed in the Beamish Musem's People's Collection catalogue under the heading development of tanks buily by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. The photographs have not yet been digitised but the captions are very interesting and relate mainly to interwar types, It may be these are all very well known photographs or it could be they haven't really been seen before. They could conceivably be from the Company's (Vickers Armstrong's) own records or possibly from some king of directory or catalogue, but it looks to be a single source.. Everything is there - Vickers Carden Lloyd, Mediums 1-3, the Independent, Citroen Kegresse and much more.

The captions are obviously well informed so without seeing antything I wonder if they might be from Vickers Armstrong's contemporary sales material.

I am enquiring aboout the origins of the photographs and if it would be possible to visit and see them.The hope of course would be to move them up the prioirity list for digitising, so they can be generally avaialable.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Mystery interwar AT gun

Can anyone help with an  identification of this anti tank gun?

Georland - progress?

Three newly completed S Range units - the top one is a recent acquisition in two lots from ebay, ACW and originally painted as two Confederate militia battalions, now restored as one large (or two smaller) battalions of US marines. The officers, which came with them, are S Range French Crimean ones and fit rather well I think.

The next two units are S Range Franco Prussian War - Saxon and Prussian line infantry. These have been part finished for around six months as other things jumped the queue ahead of them so it is a relief to get them finished. This means all my FPW guys are done, apart from eight or so generals and staff figures.

The intention is that these will join the forces (S Range FPW, Crimean and some ACW) available to refight the Georland battles. The Marines and also some ACW zouaves will be available  if required.

Were I starting from scratch and could afford to do so, I would go with Peter Johnstone's Spencer Smith Classic 30mm FPW range. These are new figures, not metal versions of any of the old plastic figures. George Keef originally used a collection of c40-45mm demi rondes figures and the Spencer Smith Classics would give an appropriate look in a more manageable format. Maybe one day.

My intention is to use an adaption of Command and Colors Napoleonics both for Crimean War and for Georland. I have now acquired both an additional set of the old TSS 12" terrain hexes and a 6" hex mat from Corsec Engineering so am hoping to make a start sometime soon - just need to work out how I can get my two expanding tables set up in the house with room to move round them.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Experimental Mechanised Force/Experimental Armoured Force

I have long been interested in British tank development and doctrine between the wars, in particular in the Experimental Mechanised Force/Experimental Armoured Force of the late 1920s, and have been assembling some vehicles to portray it in 1/76 and 1/72. While looking for information on the armoured cars with the force this morning I came across this - Pathe News Super Gazette newsreel of Winston Churchill visiting manoeuvers at Tidworth, listed on the IWM site as 1926 and on the Pathe site as 1927 (which makes more sense).

There are Medium Mk IIs, Carden Lloyd Mk IVs, Rolls Royce armoured cars (1920 pattern?), Birch guns on the move, tank signalling with flags, and Burford Kegresse infantry half tracks.

The clip may be well known, but I have never come across it before.

If anyone can suggest a reasonable proxy for the Burford Kegresse half track in 1/72 or 1/76 I'd be very grateful to hear from you. - the nearest I have come so far is the EWM Citroen P19 for Dragons Portees.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Minifigs S Range AWI 3s and 4s Massacheusetts Light Company

What collecting I hve been doing recently has focused on Minifigs S Range. Good honest figures i like nore and more each tinme I see them - and a tragedy that they should have been dropped for the misshapen chunky dwarves we now know as Minifigs and to which I attribute the blame for all the exaggeratedly big headed and handed miniatures of today....

Most of this collecting has been centred on the AWI, SYW and Hundred Years War ranges.

This has enabled me to fill in many of the gaps in pictures on the figures of these ranges on my Lone S Ranger blog. The latest are these rather distinctive AWI Massacheusetts Light Company figures.

If this piques your interest, have a look over at the Lone S Ranger blog. If anyone has examples or photos of any of the figures for which I do not have pictures, I would be particularly glad to hear from you.

I have also been busy painting around 200 medieval figures from the variios Hundred Years War (HYW, Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt) ranges. At some point I may put up some unit pictuires.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Minifigs S Range Medieval (Hundred Year War) ranges

Thanks to a recent ebay purchase I have added on my Lone S Ranger blog listings of the Hundred Years War range and Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt sub ranges,

I am a bit stuck identifying the cavalry figures I have so if anyone can help pictures are posted over on the other blog.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Mystery Medieval Ship

One of the interesting extras which came with a rather fantastic bargain lot of Lamming Medieval figures from ebay was this small metal ship.

The hull length is around 4cm.

Bill Lamming did do Medieval cogs for use with his Medieval Campaign Rules but my recollection from seeing them on his stand at shows (I never had any) was that thy were really tiny. There is what looks to be a manufacturer's mark on the bottom of the hull, but I haven't been able to make it out.

So if anyine recognises the model or can thriow any light on it, I'd be pleased to here from you.

The model is a bit nicer than it appears from the photos, but it is very rough.

Pictures here -

Two pictures of the ship

The marks on the hull

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Reunited - more Grove and Benoy

Thanks to Harry who has kindly allowed the centre companies of the 33rd Foot to join their light company brethren at Vintage Wargaming Towers.

Previous VW posts about these figures can be accessed here

First off the gentlemen of the 33rd:

with apologies for the slightly wobbly photograph; then some horses (sadly no riders) showing wire bridles:

And then some guns, marked "heavy" and "demi-culverin", while clearly representing Gribeaval system pieces

While the horses are definitely Grove and Benoy, as shown by the clipped corner rectangular copper bases to which they are soldered, it is hard to be definite about the guns - they came from the same source, but I have not seen a photograph or description of them elsewhere. Garratt in Model Soldiers for the Comnnoisseur refers to Seamus Wade, on the sale of most of the figure to Allan Robinson-Sagar of Toronto retaining figures including infantry, cavalry, foot and horse artillery, bands, mules and wagons and the Duke of Wellintgton and a Spanish priest. Since mules and the Spanish priest are included in the other figures I acquired from the same source it seems likely these are part of Seamus Wade's collection and it is likely that these are the correct guns.

It would be very interesting to hear from anyone who has any of these figures or any photopgraphs of them.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

BMSS Tactical Challenge Cup Final 1950

This is the report of the Tactical Challenge Cup Final of 1950 of the British Model Soldier Scoiety (BMSS) Wargames Section, written up in the Bulletin No 2 by Captain Sachs. The two finalists were Grant and Clayton. clayton is assumed to be A G Clayton, at the time both the Honorary Secretary of the BMSS and editor of its Bulletin. Whether Grant was Charles Grant is interesting to speculate but I have no idea whether he was involved with the BMSS at this time. The note to the article reports that Carl Reavley and a Mr Cass replayed this ngagement.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

By Request

This is John Norris's Introduction to the Seven Years War article (Part 1) from Wargamer's Monthly magazine. So far it is uncertain that there ever was a part two, which is a shame as it would have covered the figures, rules and books available in 1977 for this conflict.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lost magazines - Wargamer's Monthly

Thanks to Harry for this curiosity - does anyone remember it? Edited by Sean O'Hogan, it was an attempt at a glossy wargames magazine, published in 1977. This is the only copy I have ever seen. Does anyone know any more, and whether it ever made it to a second issue? The editorial and list of contents are shown below.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Old news I know...

but Vintage20mil is live again and hosted here - no more need for the way back machine

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Oh and I forgot...

And I also seem to have missed the point at which page views - not "hits" please - went past 400,000. Of course I know many of these are automated and don't represent anyone looking at the blog, but I'm still rather pleased.

More SEGOM - on horses this time...

Whenever I think I have completely stopped looking at ebay, some kind soul will email me and say - have you seen this ooh shiny thing? Are you going to buy it? - so I have Paul in Oz to thank for pointing out these SEGOM cavalry a few weeks ago. They weren't identified as SEGOM, and I think the cavalry are even rarer over here than the infantry.

The lot I bought had 18 horses, plus one without a base and one half horse - this will be explained below - and around 30 riders. I have spent the last few days repainting them and here they are:

French Dragoons

French Cuirassiers

Prussian Lancers

The horses are of two part construction, rather like Rose 20mm or Lamming Medieval ones. I hope this is clear from the pictures. The unpainted horse shows how the neck fits (or doesn't).

Full horse showing neck join

Half horse

Apart from the roll on the horse's shoulders (holsters etc) you have to paint on your own horse furniture.

I am very pleased with this acquisition from a collecting point of view.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Acorn Antiques (well, Vintage)

Old John has been keeping me in the loop in his efforts to track down information on a range called Acorn Napoleonics. These were made by Platoon 20, designed by the late Dave Allsop when he lived in Northern Ireland, and produced by Cameron Robinson. The aim was to provide decently proportioned 25mm figures at a basic price. They were intended to be bought in bulk and were rank and file figures only - you were expected to buy officers etc elsewhere. The range included French, British, Austrian, and possibly Prussian and Russian Line Infantry, with grenadiers where applicable. There is a suggestion there may have been some medieval figures as well. They were sold at Northern Militaire, at some point in the late 70s or early 80s. As they were intended to be cheap figures it is probable not many survive.

Does anyone have any further information on these figures? I would be interested in any photographs, listings or old adverts which may have appeared in Military Modelling at the time.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Franco Prussian War in Weardale

As you can imagine, my first contact with Black Powder on a visit up Weardale required slightly more recent figures than I am used to and caused a few misgivings. I must thank Colin for his hospitality and a great day, with a fantastic result - a draw which we could both claim as a moral victory. Using a CS Grant table top teaser, my French had to hold up the advancing Prussians for long enough to prepare the bridge for detonation, then get as many of their troops back over the bridge as possible before blowing it up. I held Colin's Prussians and Bavarians off successfully but got very few troops back over the bridge.

At this point I intended to add a photobucket sideshow but I just can't get the link to work - so lots of photos instead. tells (most) of the story - unfortunately I don't seem to have taken any photos of the Imperial Guard marching bravely over the bridge then smartly back again.

I will have to reflect a bit on the Black Powder experience - I was interested to see whether I would be happy using it for refighting some of the Georland battles. I think they work well enough, though there are a few things I might find difficult in the long run. All was arranged through a forum where Colin and I realised we had worked together a good few years ago.

As mentioned in his comment below, Colin has now posted a much more detailed account of the scenario and action, with his pictures, on his blog here.