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.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

There's none like these....

I don't think there will be any more of these anywhere in the world...

These are Lamming SYW figures - I think they started out as Prussian Cuirassiers - definitely cuirassiers, anyway. I got them a while ago, before I bought the Lamming display figures at auction. They had been converted for use as standard bearers, with swords and carbines removed. So I replaced these and painted them for use as British Cavalry or Dragoons for my '45 project.

So I have sort of restored them to near how they would have looked, but the swords and muskets will be different as will the uniform. In spite of my usual basic paint job I like them quite a lot and they make a flexible unit (or units). They are based individually on 20x40mm MDF bases from ERM and then movement trays from Warbases.

Monday 26 May 2014

Another war game world

I am indebted to John H for his flagging up this YouTube video to me.

It is from a Russian TV programme dubbed into English. At about 7 minutes 25 seconds it goes into an item about the toy soldier collection and war game of Boris Popov and his son Rudik. This revolved around a fictitious country called Elyria (I am not sure of the spelling). Boris Popov was an artist and started a Chronicle of the country in 1912, recording the major battles fought out with his brother and sister. It was illustrated by its author and the Chronicle itself and some sample pages can be seen in the YouTube item.

John was struck by the similarities with the Keefs and Georland. True, it dates from some 50 years later, and the figures in the collection were flats, not demirondes. As artists the Popovs also made a large number of buildings. Many of these were lost as the family was forced to move around in Russia, but Rudik Popov has recreated many of these.

Another difference with Georland is that the rules of the family wargame survive, and a game is show in progress. Moves are measured with dividers, missile fire is by nails fired from cannon, and hand to hand combat resolved by six sided dice.

Thanks very much to John for this find. It has many parallels with Georland as well as interesting differences. It makes you wonder how many more similar collections and set ups are out there waiting to be discovered.

Saturday 10 May 2014

A couple of S Range units

I have finally gotr round to photographing these for my Lone S Ranger blog.

First up are six Franco Prussian War French Dragooms

Then a unit of AWI Highlanders, reinforced by two piopers and a mounted officer adapted from the jacobite Rebellion range.

I know the painting isn't up to much, but they remind me how much I like the old S Range figures more and more the more I look at them.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Five Years On

With typical efficiency I have missed that 8th April was the 5th anniversary of this blog (but not of vintage wargaming itself, which has been around for much longer).

As this is the Wooden Anniversary, I thought maybe this would be appropriate:

Real life and the normal slow down in posting have reduced the frequency of posts, but I hope to continue to add new (old) material as it comes to light. In the mean time I hope there is enough already here to make the blog a useful place to visit.

Saturday 1 March 2014


My thanks to Mike for these pictures of his SEGOM figures - Prussian Infantry and Russian Grenadiers. Mike thinks he bought them at Northern Militaire in the 1970s and remembers Austrian Infnatry in helmets too.

Saturday 22 February 2014

My Old Dutch

Another ebay purchase and a surprise twice over - first in the form of a second chance offer to buy them, and second  to discover some of the figures weren't metal. I'm not sure how I feel about this as it wasn't referred to anywhere in the description. At first (and in an earlier version of this post) my initial thought when I saw the photograph for the first time was that they were Springwood Plastics, with the exception of the mounted officer and pioneer, who are S Range.

However Fire at Will, who has several thousand Springwood Plastics figures humself, has pointed out that they are actually something even rarer to see in this quantity, and are in fact by the French company SEGOM. So the twist in the tail/tale is that they are now a surprise three times over and they look an even better purchase than before. In one sense it is the quality of the figure rather than their maker that matters, but it is always nice to have something new in the collection.

An earlier post here on Vintage Wargaming has the Rene North "Paint YOur Own" cards with uniform information for this unit.

(I've just realised I've used the same heading for this as a recent post on the Hinton Hunt Vintage Wargames Figures blog - sorry Ian - so I have changed it0

Thursday 13 February 2014

Mystery solved

Paul RH over on another forum after some internet sleuthing has identified these as Framburg recognition models (they seem to lack the wheels that might have meant they were the later Dale Company versions).

The information on Framburg is here.

Thanks to all who have helped with this, particularly Chris, Alan and of course Paul.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Tanks for the Memory...

Patrick has sent me these three pictures of two metal tank models. They are approximately 3 inches by 6 inches, and seem to be an M3 Lee and M4 Sherman 105mm.

(It has now been persuasively suggested to me elsewhere that the Sherman is not the 105 mm version but the T6 Medium Tank, i.e. the Sherman prototype. The photograph below is of the example built at Aberdeen and I think confirms this identification.) There seems little point in having identification models of the prototype much beyond 1942 when the production models were introduced. As the lee was also introduced in 1941, and there are clear similarities between the two models (the running gear), perhaps these could even have been models used as part of the prototyping process?

Patrick (and I) would be very interested in and grateful for any information on their likely manufacturer and date of production.