Monday, 18 May 2015

Plastic Warrior Show 2015

The 30th UK Toy and Model Soldier Show, better known as the Plastic Warrior Show will be held on Saturday 23rd May 2015

Please note it will be at the New Venue that we used last year.

The Harlequin Suite at the Winning Post Inn Chertsey Road, Twickenham, TW2 6LS.  Saturday 23rd May 2015, doors open to General Public from 10.30.  Link to website:

Travel Directions.
By Car.  From Outside London take M25, M3, A316, go over one roundabout and entrance to the Winning Post is after 500 metres on your left.  From Inner London, after Richmond Circus follow A316 and continue straight on over 3 roundabouts.  You will pass the Winning Post on your right.  At the next roundabout take the 4th exit and entrance to the Winning Post will be on your left after 500 metres.
FREE PARKING.  There is extensive free parking at the site and in the residential roads behind the Winning Post, The Harlequin Suite is to the right of the main building.
By Public Transport.  From Central London and the South of England by overground train (South West Trains) from Waterloo or Clapham Junction to Whitton Station.  There are 8 trains an hour and the journey time is approx. 30 minutes, this is a loop line so 4 trains an hour run from two different platforms at Waterloo Station.   From the North of England by train to London arriving at Kings Cross St. Pancras or Euston. take the London Underground Victoria line just 6 stops to Vauxhall and change for South West Trains to Whitton Station as above.   Whitton Station is just 3 minutes walk from the Winning Post - turn left out of the station past Jubilee Avenue and Pauline Crescent, the next turning on your left is the entrance to the Winning Post.

Late news: There are no engineering works scheduled for 23rd May on South West Trains but the District Line underground will not be running between Turnham Green and Richmond (there will be a bus replacement service)

Should you wish to take the London Underground to Richmond as in previous years, the easiest thing is to change platform and take a South West Train service to Whitton Station as above (4 trains an hour from Richmond, journey time 8 minutes).  alternatively you could get a black cab or a H22 bus from the taxi rank and bus stop outside the station.
Oyster cards are accepted on all London Underground lines, buses and South West Trains to Whitton Station.
The Winning Post Inn opens from 07.00 to 11.00 serving breakfast or coffee for those who arrive early, the pub serves drinks from 11.00 and Lunches from 12.00.  There is a cashpoint on site but Whitton town center with a full range of shops and banks is just 3 minutes walk from the hall.  Within the Winning Post complex is a Premier Inn travel hotel for those who want to break their journey and stay overnight.  Link to website:

Friday, 17 April 2015

If only history lessons had been like this......

Every now and then it amuses me to Google the images for the search terms that have directed people to this blog and in the early hours of this fine Friday morning the Devil found such work for idle fingers, leading me to this fun piece of amateur cinematography:

It's the story of the Battle of Waterloo filmed as a stop motion video using 54mm toy soldiers, I thought it was great fun and enjoyed the soundtrack too.  It incorporates just about every Highlander figure you can think of and an impressive collection of Britain's Deetail French cavalry as well, while scanning the ranks to identify the figures used look out for the Lone Star Lone Ranger's horse Silver among the cavalry breaking on the Allied infantry squares.

I know that a lot of time and effort goes into making these films and I would love to have a go one day myself but in the meantime lets raise a Huzzah! to those fine spirits who make such works for our enjoyment.

With the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo fast approaching there is word that the Emperor has returned once more and is marching on a garden in England wherein the carnage will be renewed, albeit in reduced circumstances (54mm).  On that note I must away to dust off some Cuirassiers and Scots Greys.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Funny Little Wars at the Siege of Westmalle-Trapiste

With the weather in the old country turning pleasantly mild the Campaign season opened early and sees the Pragmatic army stealing a march to fall upon the unsuspecting Frederickians in the well appointed town of Westmalle-Trapiste. 

The Citadel and town with it's outlaying earthworks, this is the City Bastion, to the north is the St Nicholas Bastion and to the south the New Works.  The approach of the Pragmatic army has been reported by a mounted patrol, the pickets have been pulled in and the garrison beaten to quarters.

The attackers range across the countryside, setting up camp and commandeering livestock, they quickly establish several batteries and commence the work of driving saps towards the enemy earthworks.

A steady cannonading from the defenders slows the progress of the saps and the attrition takes it's daily toll of the attackers, reducing the odds for when the final assault must surely come.

While the outer works are thinly held during the bombardment a strong reserve has been held back to counter attack any breach in the lines.

The Citadel of Westmalle-Trapiste is a stronghold but the outer works are too long a perimeter for the limited number of defenders to hold in strength.

The strong City Bastion is the bulwark of the defence.

While the heavy guns of the siege train pound away at the defences engineers just beyond the ruins begin tunnelling to sink a mine beneath the City Bastion.

The siege lines are a hive of activity as troops are moved up for the Grand Assault.

Both sides sense that their work is coming to a conclusion now, attrition has taken it's toll on both sides and the final effort must be close at hand.  At dusk the defenders carry out a pre-emptive sortie to destroy the Pragmatic sap before the St. Nicholas Bastion 

The storming party clamber over the damaged earthworks and wreak havoc with their grenadoes.  Just when the trench has been secured, the earth is rocked and the air rent by the sound of tumultuous explosions as mines and counter-mines are blown simultaneously.

The defenders have sunk counter-mines and after several attempts they can hear the unmistakable scraping of enemy diggers tunnelling towards them.  Mines and counter-mines are exploded at the City Bastion but they have all run short and are ineffective, to the north a mine breaches the works at the St Nicholas Bastion ....... and the assault goes in.

When the dust had settled the attackers were held before the City Bastion but stormed through the breach in the weakly held St Nicholas works, whereupon the opposing commanders presented their compliments to one another and retired to discuss terms over a good dinner.

Sadly the engravings shown here are of poor quality due to my archivist being supplied with inferior opticals, finer illustrations and a full narrative is provided by their worships over on the Vauban and Shandy blog

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Will the real Mr Churchill please stand up?

I've had these three little chaps tucked away for a very long time, they came to me as "extras" in a collection of early composition I bought at auction many moons ago and they've lain undisturbed until the latest round of my never ending tidy-up.  

I've never seen their like before and don't know who made them, anyone out there got any ideas?  They stand about 60mm and are made of a plaster material, similar but not as dense as the figures made in France by Bon Dufour.  They look to be caricatures and have indents in their backs that suggests they may have had a pin to be worn as some sort of broach (although they seem rather large for that) or perhaps they were pieces for a toy theatre, who knows?

I took them along to a recent collectors show where one of the German dealers remarked that the first one looked like Kaiser Wilhelm II in pre Great War Landwehr uniform with tschako.  The middle one reminded me of the well known photo of Winston Churchill standing alone after he'd been captured by the Boers, but of course the uniform is all wrong for that.  The Poilu on the end had us foxed, any ideas anyone?

As an aside

 I have recently been suffering from "the tyranny of the blog", a change in circumstances caused me to stop posting for a short while and then I found it very difficult to get back into it, the longer this went on the harder I found it to put fingers to keyboard.  I'm sure all bloggers get this at some time, there has been lots to report in the interim, shows, new toy soldier books and magazines, acquisitions and figure conversions, new projects started (then abandoned) but sadly not much in the way of gaming.  So this post is a sort of gentle slip back into the blogosphere.  I think going forward there may be more pictures and less text here, that's more the sort of person I am.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Canadian conversion conundrum

Back in June I had an email from Jeff Chorney of the "For Honours Sake" blog to say that he was getting out of wargaming and would I like his collection of 54mm figures.  "Well of course I would but are your sure?" I asked.  Jeff explained that he had too many hobby projects on the go and needed to focus elsewhere, I guess we can all relate to that, so for just the cost of the postage I was please to take delivery of the following:

Possibly more than one unit here.  The numbering on the Union flag (XXVII) leads me to surmise that at least some of them represent the 27th (Inniskiling) Regiment of Foot but don't hold me to that.  I foresee these turning up in Crimean and Sepoy Mutiny scenarios that I've been mulling over recently.  I particularly like the staff officers in the foreground. 

Royal Horse Artillery?

I'm guessing that these chaps in top hats and variously armed are the Fenian Brotherhood or some such other rebels.

These chaps have me foxed, green tunics with yellow facings and dark grey trousers, does anyone out there have any ideas who they are meant to be?

And finally some local militia, no prizes for guessing the original figures they were made from but it's interesting to see the variety that can be achieved with little more than a head change and how a uniform painting scheme can make diverse figures look like a cohesive unit.

There is more but these are the units that I'm struggling to identify.  Jeff told me they represented the Fenian raids in Canada and the War of 1812, and were the work of Ross Macfarlane so I'm hoping to get a bit more background on them.  I was sad to hear that Jeff was leaving wargaming and closing down his blog but I'm grateful for his generous gift and at least I can assure him that they have found a good home where they will see plenty of table top action!

Oh, and my apologies for the rather naff title of this post.