Sunday, 26 December 2010

Exotically Continental - Roco Minitanks

Exotic (because of their sheer range and variety, and the difficulty in obtaining them in the UK), and exotic (because 1/87 scale, though confusingly described here as HO/OO as used by Airfix for their plastic soldiers), this ad for ROCO Minitanks is from Almark Modelworld December 1972.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Coup d'Etat

Brian contacted me about an ad he remembered from Miniature Warfare for a game called Coup d'Etat. Here are two versions of the ad - the "out soon" one from August and the "out now" one from November 1970. Brian wondered if anyone had, or played this game, or even knew if it was actually published - if so, could you post any information using the comments system?

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Napoleonic Warships - Airfix "Victory" Conversions

While waiting for day 4 of the Adelaide Ashes test to start, I noticed that the blog has acquired its 111th follower. If you are not au fait with the great traditions of cricket, you might not now that scores of 111 are refereed to as "Nelson" and multiples (222, 333 etc) as double Nelson, treble Nelson etc, and are viewed with great superstition as likely to cause a wicket to fall. One test umpire (sadly no longer with us) would officiate standing on one leg until a further run was added.

No-one seems 100% sure why this tradition has grown up (cricketers are a very superstitious lot) but it seems to be called Nelson from the erroneous belief that along with one eye and one arm Nelson had only one leg. So the combination of a Nelson of followers and the Ashes made me think a naval episode might be appropriate.

This article reflects an earlier time in wargaming where you made the best of what was available, rather than having vast ranges of wargaming kit available. I have a soft spot for the small Airfix Series 1 ship kits, and i have even half heartedly started on a long considered project using the Golden Hind, Revenge and Mayflower models to create Royalist and parliamentarian fleets for Prince Rupert's later career as an Admiral.

There might be something in this Nelson stuff - Kevin Pietersen has just got out.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Order sheets

I am indebted to Mike for sending these scans of front and back covers and order sheet from the order pads produced by Shire Publishing as an accessory to their range of wargame books, including Arthur Taylor's Rules for Wargames, and John Tunstill's (name spelt wrong on the Shire list) Discovering Wargames.

John Tunstill also produced order pads among the wargames accessories available from Miniature Warfare magazine. The advert from April 1970 seems to sum up one philosophy of 1970's wargaming - "negates all argument". How things have changed (or not).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Scruby Figures

Jack Scruby was a giant of US wargaming and while known in the UK through the link up with Don Featherstone and Wargamer's Newsletter, his figures didn't cross the pond to any great extent. It is particularly noticeable that images of Scruby figures on the web are few and far between (although the figures themselves are available through Mike Taber at Historifigs)

A while ago I tried to redress this a little over on the Old Metal Detector, in part with pictures of the 30mm Napoleonics from John C Candler's Miniature Wargames du temps de Napoleon. I am grateful to Bill who has sent me a large collection of photographs of figures from a variety of the Scruby ranges. I have posted a slideshow of 25mm Napoleonic types over on The Old Metal Detector and below a similar one of figures from the 30mm Napoleonic range.

Further pictures of the 30mm ACW line will follow in due course.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Springwood Plastics

Thanks to a swap with Fire at Will I have now got my greasy fingers on some Springwood Plastics figures. As I mentioned in earlier posts these seem to have completely slipped under my radar when they first came out. They are smart practical wargames figures which I could imagine working well with, say, Rose metals. The figures here are British infantry painted by Will as Portuguese.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Minor Minifigs S Range Mystery - One Piece Crimean War Cavalry Figures

John has sent me these pictures of some one piece casting cavalry figures he has acquired recently. A small mystery, as the S Range cavalry I have seen for this range (including the heavy dragoon) have riders cast separately from horses. I have had an example of the Scots Grey myself for some time, though my figure is missing his sword arm. I haven't found any reference to these one piece castings in any catalogue or listing - can anyone shed any light on this?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Wargamer of the Month: Professor Gerard De Gre, from Wargamer's Newsletter 85 April 1969

The War of the Bombar Succession Part 4: The Siege of Bombar - 1752 by Neil Cogswell, Wargamer's newsletter 84 March 1969

I am glad to resume posting of the classic War of Bombar Succession articles by Neil Cogswell from Wargamer's Newsletter.

For previous posts I had scanned the articles through optical character recognition software and then undertaken quite a bit of editing, as the quality of reproduction of the earlier articles were low. This was very time consuming, and I have changed my main computer since then and do not have this facility on the printer/scanner attached to it. The quality of reproduction improved in the later Wargamer's Newsletters so I have gone with simply adding scans of the originals to this post.

Hopefully this approach will also mean that I will be able to complete posting the series much more quickly. If you have been waiting for the later instalments in this series, thanks for your patience.

This particular article may also be of interest to those of you who have been following the recent theme on sieges.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Terry Wise: Buildings for Wargames: Conversions from Airfix Service Station and Booking Hall: Airfix magazine Jan and Apr 1973

Two more articles from the series. The two Airfix Trackside buildings used (Petrol Station and Booking Hall) are both readily available from Dapol

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Terry Wise: Buildings for Wargames: American Civil War buildings from Airfix Magazine December 1973

Another of Terry Wise's buildings for wargames articles from Airfix Magazine. The back numbers box on p2 has a useful summary of the others in this series.

Usborne Battlegame book 5 Fighting Ships

I am indebted to Conrad Kinch for pointing out the existence of a fifth Usborne Battlegames book, Fighting Ships. There is also some further information on these books here.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Usborne Battlegame books

Usborne are a UK children's publishing firm who in their time have produced much of interest to wargamers, including their Make this... series which included medieval town, village, cathedral and castle titles, some of which have been reissued.

The Battlegame books - Wild West, Knights at War, Galactic War, and World War II - by Andrew McNeil were published in 1975 and each included four simple but effective battllegames. The rules and counters were included in the centre of the book. I have posted a little on the contents of each title below.

Their serious credetials included illustrators including Gerry Embleton and Angus McBride, and Games designed by Dave Rotor and Citadel Boardgames, among others.

Usborne Battlegame book 1 The Wild West

I never had this book originally. Illustrators included Gerry Embleton.

The four games are:

1 Buffalo Hunters - native Indian tribes compete to capture wild horses and hunt buffalo

2 Red Cloud's War - warring tribes try to stop the US Army wagon trains reaching beleagured Fort Keogh

3 Iron Horse - player race to lay railroad tracks across the centre of America

4 Lincoln County War - Billy the Kid faces gatling guns in a range war

Usborne Battlegame book 2 Knights at War

Probably my favourite, this book was illustrated by Gerry Embleton and Angus McBride, among others.

The four games are:

1 The Battle of Arsouf - Richard the Lionheart against Saladin

2 Siege! - rival lords (the Earl d'Assault and Baron de Fender) struggle for control of a castle

3 Border Raiders - knights try to drive back invaders who are burning villges and plundering cattle

4 Tournament - jousting in a grand tournament

I remember playing the Arsouf and Siege games. I am missing the pieces for Arsouf and Border Raiders but the rules list the pieces and miniatures should substitutre well.

Usborne Battlegame book 3 Galactic War

This was the book I had the least interest in. It had some serious wargaming credentials as two of the games (1 and 4 below) were devised by Dave Rotor.

The games are:

1 Space Pirates - rival companies race to bring valuable minerals back to Earth from the asteroid belt

2 Deadly Planet - surviving in an alien environment

3 Invasion Earth! - search and destroy mission against aliens breeding in the Pacific Ocean

4 Galactic War - the Stellar Federation battle the Krul, each trying to capture the enemy's headquarters planet

Usborne Battlegame book 4 World War II

Written by Andrew McNeil, the four games were:

1 Winter War - Eastern Front 1943 with the Germans defending a railway junction against the Russians, who have 12 moves to capture it

2 Carrier - flat tops and amphibious landings in the Pacific

3 Air Assault - American daylight bombing raid in 1943 against occupied France

4 Beach-Head - D-Day landing game using The Funnies

The Carrier and Beach-Head games were designed by Citadel Boardgames Ltd.

I remember playing the Carrier and Air Assault games quite frequently but not the others. My current copiy has the pieces for these two games unused, but not the others. The rules pages identify the different pieces so they lend themselves to replacement by appropriate figures and models.

Ros Napoleonic 25mm

I posted this on The Old Metal Detector, but thought it might be of interest here as well because of the previous items on Rospak hard plastic figures.

Prompted by Tony's post on his Prometheus in Aspic blog, I have dug out my few examples of Ros 25mm Napoleonics. They looked exciting when they came out, as they were very cheap, metal, and offered normal-but-exotic things like British infantry in Stovepipes. I dithered and never bought any, but have acquired a few since.

The pictures show Prussians, a small unit of Austrian infantry, and some French foot artillery (thanks to Iain for this last picture).

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Revo 25mm Napoleonics

Rambling post ahead warning - a while ago I bought some interesting 25mm British Napoleonic figures from e-bay which turned out to be marked on the underside with Revo and serial numbers in the B 120s and B 130s. They are in campaign dress (at least with shako covers) and some are centre companies, some are flank company men. Then last week when sorting out some Spanish figures I found one guerilla figure which was also marked Revo.

While familiar with Revo flags I had no recollection of ever seeing Revo figures, and I have not been able to find any list. I did however find a couple of mentions in old Practical Wargamer magazines of REVO flags coming from Whittlesey Miniatures. I also found a reference to 25mm figures from Whittlesey Miniatures, though this has not come to hand when looking into writing this post.

I did however find a reference to the proprietor being Keith Over, and finally made a connection to the Keith Over who wrote the Flags and Standards of the Napoleonic Wars book published by Bivouac Books in 1976. This then made sense with Revo (expertise on flags) and the final piece of the jigsaw slotted in to place when I realised Revo is Over backwards. (I trade as esra solutions, but that's another story).

Anyway, the figures are attractive, just the wrong scale for me (20mm all the way). If anyone remembers these figures or has units or armies made up of them, or could say how wide the range was and what it included, your comments as ever would be very welcome.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Operation Sealion - the non-invasion, by Terry Wise, Airfix Magazine June 1975

The first article in the series. Thanks to Twmas.