Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Beautiful Big Battleships

 I recently unearthed these photos I took a few years back of a rather fine model battleship, it was in the window of a high end antiques gallery just outside Hastings in East Sussex, the place was shut and I wouldn't be able to get back there later so I had to take the pics as best I could through the glass.  The model was about eight feet long (from memory) and I thought it was amazing, but I know nothing else about it.  Does anyone recognise the ship? the four smoke stacks might give a clue, could it have been a shipbuilders model or a film prop?  I have no idea but I thought, if I like it, then maybe someone else will too, and I think it's too good an image to leave forgotten on an old memory card.  Double click the pics to see the detail, it's taken a lot of punishment over the years but not beyond restoration I think.

In this pic you can just see the stern of another battleship.

Just to add to the confusion, I think this may be a photo of the second battleship mentioned above.

Yes, definitely a second ship, again with four smoke stacks but I think this one was a bit shorter.

When I look at the damage strewn across the decks of  these old models it makes me ponder on the carnage left in the aftermath of a sea battle between such steel leviathans.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Toy Soldier documentary

 Came across this on YouTube (as you do) and thought it was worth sharing, it's some kind of Science Channel documentary and I think it's Russian made, but it's about Toy Soldiers   A word of warning it's over 26 minutes long, so not for the faint hearted, I don't have the attention span any more so had to dip in and out of it, but there is a lot of good stuff in there if you're prepared to persevere.  Now get a coffee and a bun then settle down to enjoy.

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Three of my all time favourite figures!

 Three of my all time favourite figures, two versions of Kiplings "Gentleman in Kharki" and "The Handy Man". The outer figures are hollow Ivorine plastic, made in 1900, in the centre is the hollowcast lead version made by Fry around 1920, the rifle barrel has been repaired and looks a bit long but it works well enough, I'm struggling over the decision to repaint him or not.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Highlanders, Cherilea and Replicants toy soldiers

Some time ago I thought it would be a good idea to start a Jacobite collection, I gathered together what figures I had to hand and started painting but somewhere along the line the project just ran out of steam. Since then they've been sitting in a display case amongst my other C18th armies, until last week when the need to free up space meant they had to find a new home.  while they were out I thought I'd take a few pics, and here they are:

There's not a lot to be said about them, they're a mix of Cherilea and Replicants Highlanders, nothing unusual and no conversions, just simple basing. 

The Cherilea chaps are a good bit bigger than Replicants something like 60mm versus 54mm to even things up I put the former on thin steel washers and the latter on poker chips which have the same diameter but are nice and thick to give the replicants a bit more height.

I painted them wearing the Macdonald of Clanranald tartan, or at least my interpretation of it!  I had some trepidation about painting the tartan but sticking to toy soldier style it was quite easy and overall they were quite fun to paint.

The background buildings are odds and ends of ceramic tea light candle holders and such ornaments picked up cheap at car boot sales, they're not to scale but work well enough.

I think some of the poses could be used for other periods and scenarios, perhaps late medieval towards renaissance?

I do like that red lion standard, it adds quite a splash of colour to the line up.

I'm not sure I'll ever get the momentum back for this project, it was fun but there are too many other projects vying for my time.  I'd like to be more focused and methodical in my approach to collecting toy soldiers, but lets face it the time for that is long passed!

Monday, 26 October 2020

A Crimean One Hour Wargame.

 A few  weeks ago we decided to hold an impromptu socially distanced game before the Powers that Be extended the lockdown to prohibit meetings of more than one household again.  These are strange times. The 2 metre wide table and a few other simple measures ensured that proper social distancing was observed, it's not difficult when there's a will and common sense prevails.  

Scenario One, Pitched Battle, was selected from OHW and toys suitable to the Crimean War were quickly garnered together.  The scenario called for a minimal terrain, the British drew units of infantry, skirmishers and cavalry while the Russians were favoured with infantry, cavalry and artillery!  Here's how it went:

Without any artillery the Brits had little option other than to pitch straight into the attack before the Russian guns ground them down.  "Into the Valley etc. etc."

Threatened on the flank, the Cossacks charge home but are bounced off by the doughty Dragoons of the Heavy Brigade, an immediate counter attack sees the Cossacks dispersed and routed.

Russian regular Infantry and Rifles wheel about to enfilade the advancing British line, they deliver a devastating volley that shatters a Regiment on the English right.

The thin red line holds and delivers it's own volley, both sides are now taking punishment and the British skirmishers have been brushed aside.  Here the British deploy their long range measuring tape.

The Battle began to pivot as the British faltered on their left but made gains on the right, at this point honours were even and it was still anybody's game.

Having seen off the Cossacks the redoubtable Dragoons followed through and rode down a Regiment of Infantry, only to flounder beneath the Russian guns on the ridge.  The withering Russian fire now began to tell and the British attack ground to a halt.  

The game lasted 8 moves, probably the quickest we've played, usually we go the full 15 rounds, but at least we got a game in, it was good to see toy soldiers back on the table and who knows when the next game will be?