Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Small mystery about Lamming Napoleonics....


If the idea of a small mystery involving Lamming Napoleonics ranges, Charles Grant's book Napoleonic Wargaming, Peter Gilder and the Wargames Holiday Centre piques your curiosity, you might like to take a look at my latest two posts on the Old Metal Detector blog here and here.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Le Kriegspiel - Part 2 - Tactical Units


After two reminders eight years apart (thank you Unknown and Kornberg) here is the missing Part 2:

Tactical Units

Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery

which comprise pages 7-16 of the Pat Condray translation.

See Translation by Pat Condray of French original ed. Pierre Foure

I hope this is better late than never.















Sunday, 26 January 2020

Warplan 5/5 Campaign System


I'm afraid I couldn't find a way to reproduce the snazzy double headed arrow in 5/5 in the text so will have to do with this instead.

Warplan 5/5 came out in about 1970 and lasted about five years. It was clearly a labour of love and combined a huge amount of work in developing the system and a very sophisticated (for the time) graphical presentation.

It was published by a company called Hirstle Graphic Services, which was removed from the UK register of Companies at Companies House in around August 1975. The company was based in Eltham, near Canterbury. Elsewhere it is also referred to as FEREF/Hirstle Press Ltd., which was incorporated on 1st January 1970; the date it was dissolved is not recorded.

There was an artist called Cliff Hirstle who designed poster for British movies in the 1960s but so far I have been unable to discover any firm connection with the Hirstle Press/Hirstle Graphic Services.

The designer of the system owned the company and it seems the product was sold in 1975 to Heritage Models in 1975, but not much happened with it thereafter.

The system has been described as being ideal for the computer age and therefore fated to be ahead of its time.

At the heart of the system was a set of 30 double sided 5" by 5" map cards (giving 60 maps in total). There were two different sets - all those in the picture are all set 1 and there are four sets there. Set 1 was intended for horse and musket era campaigns while set 2 added railway systems, airfields, oil refineries,naval installations and industrial complexes.

You used these cards in whatever combination you wanted to provide your campaign map.

 Another major part of the package was the system handbook. This actually states that there are no rules attached to the Warplan system - basically it  helps you to manage and record your campaign, logistics etc.



I have been collecting bits and pieces of the Warplan system over a number of years (mainly maps and the handbook) but now have two complete sets plus example of all the other replacement and expansion items.

I don't think there were separate system handbooks for horse and musket and railway/aircraft eras. Section 2 states that "the Warplan 5/5 system is operated virtually the same for either version, except in a few details, which will be noted in the following text, where applicable."

The two copies of the handbook rare different from each other in presentation but not in content -one is printed on white paper throughout while the other is on white for the first and last eight pages, but the middle 32 pages are printed on various different coloured papers.


All these forms etc form part of the Campaign Log system, provided in the original pack as a series of A4 landscape sheets, including (as an example) transparent grids to overlay your maps. The replacements provided versions of these forms in a smaller format and printed on colour coded paper..



There were also symbols and counters for map movement and record keeping.

Clearly developing the system had involved a lot of work and I suspect using it would have required a similar investment of time by the umpire to get to grips with it.





All the photos here were taken with my phone for speed and convenience and posted on the Vintage Miniature Wargames Rules Facebook Group where some discussion of them has taken place.

I may at some point replace them with scans of the various forms etc. if there is interest and when I have the time to do so.

I am also currently looking for an avert from the early 70s from one of the wargaming magazines, to illustratethis post further.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Rambling Roses




Back in September 2018 I posted on Vintage Wargaming about the acquisition of some Rose figures from Peter Goldsbrough's collection of 20mm Napoleonics. In addition to these I had quite a large number of unpainted figures from a previous purchase, which I intended to combine in a project I thought I would document on line. The Goldsbrough figures included a lot of conversions, some of them very interesting, and which required a degree of repair and refurbishment.

As an end of year thing I have just today published a series of posts on the Old Metal Detector blog to report on its completion a few months ago, That series can be found by following this link..

That original Vintage Wargaming post can be found here.

For various reasons all the fun and excitement were soon drained out of the project and I put it aside for eight or nine months, and even thought seriously of throwing all the figures away. However, then after finishing various other things I decided to have a go at seeing it to completion. This meant a further two or three months sticking at it and grinding out about 20 battalions and 10 or 12 guns and crews. While it wasn't very exciting while it was going on it was a good feeling of achievement to get it completed. It also meant I still haven't had to face up to painting hundreds of Hinton Hunt French and British line infantry figures.

I have always liked the stylised nature of the Rose infantry, all of which are in two poses, marching and advancing.They are almost semi flat or demi-ronde, and I had always thought they would look very good en masse. I also changed my normal basing standard (20mm x 20mm for foot) to two ranks of two figures each on a 30 mm frontage with a 40 mm depth to fit the style of the figures and was very pleased with the result.




This photo would have illustrated this point better if I had stuck the figures a bit straighter on the base.

Having acquired a large number of Rose officers of various types, but all in the same pose, waving their sword in a right arm that looked just a little too long, I got quite fond of using them with Les Higgins units, to give a slightly more animated command option than the LH bloke standing on a football and pointing.




The Rose Napoleonics range was small and doesn't seem to have expanded hence the need for conversions for anyone with ambitions beyond this original list. This might be to add more detail, to get the troop type you wanted, They were first issued in 1963-4,  therefore a little before the Hinton Hunt 20mm range, which took the alternative route of being as large and comprehensive as possible.




I had also come across the DBN Napoleonic Rules which operate at a grand tactical level and are really designed for 15 mm figures. In the couple of games I played  I found them really well thought out and clearly thoroughly play tested. Although this isn't the level I would choose to do moist of my Napoleonic wargaming I am now wondering whether the Rose armies might provide an option for DBN.

The Rose figures are a bit of a sideline and curiosity really - I'm not sure for example how they might work with my other 20mm figures, like Hinton Hunts and Alberken - so thinking of a particular role for them is a good thing and very welcome after the time and work put into them.

So in the end I think a useful project to create some unusual armies and I'm glad I stuck with it.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Miniature Figurines Ramblings


Foot Guard Grenadier in Shako Advancing
BN 54 (Intermediates) in centre, BN 54 s (S Range) on flanks

I thought I'd mention two activity threads I have kicked off over on the Lone S Ranger, as they may be of interest to some people here who may not follow that blog.


Firstly I have started trying to document the various types of S Range horses, provide photographs and chart their development as best I can; and

secondly, try to get to the bottom of the Miniature Figurines "Intermediates" Range, which seemingly was restricted to Napoleonic foot figures, was very short lived around 1973/4,  and is largely undocumented (see comparison shoyt at top of this post).

Monday, 30 September 2019

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Desert Update 2

Thanks to Carl (in another place) pointing out these figures are now up on the Pictart web site and can be ordered on line using the site’s shopping basket. The codes have changed from the list in the previous post, but this doesn’t matter as there is a photo of each figure which you will see when ordering.

Visit Pictart Studios to look or buy.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Deserty Update



I am glad to say that with a bit of detective work I have managed to track down this French Foreign Legion and Arab 20mm figure range and have completed an order which includes at least one of each figure. So far all I have done is to glue them to pennies, white undercoat them and basetex the coins. I am confident they will paint up nicely.

The range is owned by Martin Cameron and goes under the name Battlepac. They are not currently listed for sale on the web but you can contact Martin using the contact form on his Pictart Studio web site and the list below.

The listings are as follows:

Foreign Legion

F1 Mounted officer waving & horse
F2 officer standing
F3 officer running with sword
F4 Bugler rifle slung
F5 Marching rifle slung
F6 Marching rifle shouldered classic pose
F7 Standing Firing
F8 Standing loading
F9 Standing at porte
F10 Charging
F11 kneeling firing
F12 Mule company mounted & mule
F13 Mule company dismounted marching

Arabs

F14 Chieftain with standard 
F15 Arab holding aloft sword and jezail
F16 Arab firing jezail from hip
F17 Arab standing guard with jezail
F18 Arab charging with sword pointing
F19 Arab kneeling firing rifle
F20 Arab kneeling firing jezail from hip
F21 Arab kneeling with sword 
F22 Arab open handed mixed weapons on camel
F23 Arab mounted on horse with sword
F24 Arab mounted on horse with rifle 
F25 Arab mounted on horse with rifle


and three later additions


F26 Legionaire kneeling at ready, 
F27 Arab foot standing firing, 
F28 Arab foot advancing

(thanks to Carl for transcribing the list from a less legible pdf scan)

I have photographed them and tried to put them more or less in the order of the list, but with mounted first and foot second. I can't be absolutely sure I have done this 100% correctly.

prices are

55p foot
95p horse and rider
1.10 camel and rider (one piece casting)

All figures are 20mm


FFL

Mounted Officer; Mule Company


Foot figures




Arabs

Camelry and cavalry


Foot figures








Sunday, 16 September 2018

Roses grow on you






Recently I have had some success in clearing off long part finished units from my painting queue. One of these was a battalion of Rose marching Napoleonic Austrian Infantry painted as Hungarians. After I had based and plastidipped I realised I had forgotten to do the gold lace on the trousers, but decided I didn't want to  take them off the bases and redo them.

Part of the reason for clearing the painting table was to make room for a refurbishment project which had been on the back burner for a while. About a year or eighteen months ago I bought from the States a collection of around 800 original Hinton Hunt castings, which had all been bought in London from Marcus Hinton on one day in 1965. Among them are quite a large number of painted or part painted figures and I wanted to work through the refurbishment and basing of the painted figures.

Then a couple of weeks ago I went in with Goya on a purchase of old time wargamer's Peter Goldsborough's old 20mm Napoleonics figures, which he had gifted many years ago to the Edinburgh club after he went into 5mm regimental blocks and Plasticine hills.

My share was the sizeable contingent of Rose figures, which predated Alberken/Minifigs 20mm and Hinton Hunt, seem to be less common and also less collected. They were also a considerably less comprehensive range. One of the beauties of this collection is therefore the amount of conversion work which has been undertaken, including head swapping, creating buglers and trumpeters, and converting the mounted Wellington figure into mounted colonels of all countries. This is a reminder of the days when you had to make the best of what was available, rather than access huge ranges or back kickstarters for exactly what you want.

. Some of the figures didn't travel well, in particular heads and top halves of hats on conversions and bases on horses. Rose horses came without bases. The collection included many converted casualties - the horses seemed to have been Hinton Hunts with the bases removed and then used to which to attach the Rose horses, The cavalry have also had wire reins added along with very delicate pin swords.

I've spent a day doing repairs - pinning and gluing heads and hats, matching horses to bases, and when there were no bases using some steel ones. I have also started on the Rose refurbishment project and it is going well - I have completed five units in as many evenings and am pleased with the results.

My usual basing convention for 20mm infantry is 20 x 20mm per figure, but because of the almost semi-flat look of the marching Rose foot figures I felt closer order was more appropriate, and I have gone for four infantry on a 30mm x 40mm base. This is a small change but I think suits them well. They are fairly stylised figures with two standard poses - advancing and marching. The officers are waving swords and have arms which look slightly too long. (I have used Rose officers successfully with units of Les Higgins figures when I wanted figures other than the standard LH officer standing on his football and pointing.

I made a joint purchase a few years ago with someone else of a large number of unpainted Rose foot figures plus around 30 mounted Wellingtons, so with the unpainted figures in the new collection it should be easy enough to make up whole units. This older collection was particularly well provided with officers, drummers and standard bearer figures.

The progress of the Rose refurbishment project may well get diverted either by boredom and butterfly tendencies but I am hoping that given the rapid progress to date I may be able to maintain interest. I am thinking of running the refurbishment of the Hinton Hunt figures from the States in tandem, to add a bit of variety and make progress on both.

I will record progress on the Rose project to some extent on my Old Metal Detector blog, and if the Hinton Hunt one gets going as well that will be reported on the Hinton Hunter..

Bavarian infantry

The first Rose unit to be refurbished was this Bavarian battalion. It needed a little more work than most, as their coats were dark blue. The base figures seem to be French Guard Grenadiers with Austrian helmeted heads.



French line battalion - and separate shot of command element:



Old Guard Grenadiers:




British Household Cavalry:


At first I thought these might be heads from the French Carabinier but I think they are original british figures

Nassau Light Infantry



I will make a further post here and on the Old Metal Detector on the various conversions - highlanders from line infantry are mind boggling. It isn't always easy to identify the base figure, as bases may have been filed  and the codes on the underside not legible. In addition many of the codes which can be read start N, which is not reflected in any of the listings.

As examples, Highlanders and then a Rifleman bugler:







Monday, 27 August 2018

Ronald Welch



The books of your youth are rather special. I was very taken with the historical novels of Ronald Welch about the Carey family and their soldiering through the ages. The first two I remember reading (and then re-reading many times) were Knight Crusader (set in the Third Crusade) and For the King (English Civil War). The front end papers had a family tree of the Careys, showing how they related to the various bools of the series, going through to WW1 (Tank Commander). I borrowed all those I could find (repeatedly) from my local library, and I think they were where my lifetime interests in history and military history either started or were confirmed. They certainly sparked my interest in the English Civil War, which even survived A levels.

They bore the unmistakable signs of extensive historical research, which is no surprise as their author, Ronald Felton (1909-1982, was history teacher who served as a tank commander in the Second World War and took his pen name from his wartime regiment, the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

They have been out of print for a long time and second hand were expensive and hard to track down. In the last five years Slightly Foxed have been reissuing them in a limited edition of 2,000 copies and last week I bit the bullet and bought a complete set. Expensive but worth it I think.

The complete list of the Carey Novels (in chronological order) is:

Knight Crusader
Bowmen of Crecy
Sun of York
The Galleon
The Hawk
For the King
Captain of Dragoons
Mohawk Valley
Escape from France
Captain of Foot
Nicholas Carey
Ensign Carey
Tank Commander

There is also an unpublished novella, the Road to Waterloo.

Other non-Carey novels included The Gauntlet and Zulu Warrior.

I've also had that particular thrill of now finding titles I had never seen at the time - last summer I found a Dalziel and Pascoe novel by Reginald Hill I had completely missed on publication.

I have the same feeling about these novels as I did when I discovered a few years ago that the TV series The Flaxton Boys, which I watched about the same time, had been in part written by Don Houghton, of At the Colonel's Table fame. Now I've thought about it again, I've just ordered the DVD from Amazon.

I'm sure some of you out there probably read these once upon a time. For the rest of you there is an undiscovered treat if you want to look into them. Written for children yes, but with a depth of historical background which still makes them satisfying adult reading.

They deserve to be better known.








Sunday, 26 August 2018

Not exactly vintage but...


...can anyone help me identify the manufacturer of this range, and/or who sells them now?

They are 20mm figures and part of a larger range of Arabs and French Foreign Legion. I bought these as samples a few years ago from a seller on eBay, but when I tried to buy more they had a complicated system for ordering  from their listing which I couldn't get to work for me; when I tried to contact them to order more figures direct there was no response. I haven't seen them listed again since and I have no information about that original order.

My only other memory is that I think they had various other ranges, and described these as an old range.

Any helpful suggestions via comments gratefully received.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Georland - a bit of a rethink?


I realise it's been a very long time since I posted anything over on the Georland blog and the project has been firmly on the back burner for a while.

This has partly been because I had achieved that mythical state of "having finished" the S Range Franco Prussian armies I had intended to use for the project, and started on other things: then acquired quite a large number of additional S Range figures of various German states infantry and cavalry. This made me feel painting them up was another large project which I wasn't yet up to the challenge of starting.

So while I had (and still have) an intention to refight some of the Georland battles on the tabletop, it also dawned on me over quite a long period of time that maybe I didn't want to use the Franco Prussian figures after all for this. I am perfectly happy to have two good sized Franco Prussian War armies and use them just for that. I was influenced by this picture, a watercolour by George Keef in the Journal, entitled the Battle of Emburg (or Enburg, depending on your reading of the script)  dated 8 August 1873. A larger version of the picture appears at the bottom of the home page of the Georland blog.

The lines of red coated troops have brought me back to my original intention, which was to use my S Range Crimean armies, to achieve a similar look. I think the FPW option came about because George Keef's original soldiers were mainly semi round FPW figures, with the French providing the Georlan forces.

So while the Franco Prussian Germans will prove useful for some of the wars of the later Epochs, I am now thinking I might go back to British Crimean War figures for Georland, to achieve a similar aesthetic to this picture.

If I do choose to go this way I won't regard the FPW project as a sidetrack, as it stands on its own and without the interest in terms of Georland I doubt I would have got anywhere near as far with painting the figures, as I would have got distracted into something else. (And in fact while I have some further S Range Crimean Highlanders somewhere in the painting crew I also have some Hinton Hunt and Douglas British Crimean figures which will probably get attention before they do). I am unlikely to be happy using the Hinton Hunt and Douglas figures alongside S range ones, but will have to see. Also I have some very nicely painted Hinton Hunt Crimean Russian infantry somewhere which I must dig out sometime.

I also greatly enjoyed  assembling my collection of buildings from German railway scenery manufacturers, so I would also need to give some thought to whether to use these or the Russian style (and slightly larger scale) buildings I have instead.

It is all a bit hypothetical as I doubt anything will happen any time soon. I realise I need to do a fair bit of research for the Orders of Battle for any engagements I might want to refight, as although there is information in the scans I have of the last section of the Journal, they can be hard to decipher and may have lost some of their content to the scanner's margin settings.

But I think some good problems to have.

(I have also posted this update on the Georland blog).

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Hinchliffe 20mm Equipment Range


In the comments on a recent post about French line artillery on Stryker's Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargames Figures blog there has been a little discussion about the Hinchliffe 20mm equipment range. These were generally reckoned the best 20mm equipment available, significantly better than Hinton Hunt guns and limbers, and with a slightly bigger range. 

Although the moulds were lost a long time ago I was surprised how little known they appear to be even among aficionados of vintage 20mm figures so I am posting the listing and some photo from the 1972 Hinchliffe catalogue. They certainly deserve to be better known.

Below are two photos of a Peter Gilder French Old Guard Artillery crew with a Hinchliffe 20mm French 12 pdr gun.(These are Hinton Hunt figures which were originally owned by peter Gilder).



A British 10" howitzer, suitable for both Napoleonic and Crimean Waes


British Colonial Elephant team and 40 pdr gun




4 sets, with the 40 pdr gun versions on each side and 2 sets with the 6.3" Howitzer in the middle. (I know the tubes of the 40 pdrs are in firing rathert han travelling position but I didn't want to have any of the guns only in the travelling position This set was the first metal figures I ever saw, in a hardware shop in Durham in the early 1970s. I can't remember the cost but it was astronomical when Airfix figures had been 2/11 a box. More than 40 years later and with the help of eBay and others I know have about 12 sets of them, which may be overcompensating.

And finally a pair of British Colonial Baggage wagons. These came without horse teams or divers/crews, so these have been completed with S Range draught horses and Jacklex drivers.