I received some Napoleonic reinforcements recently and I now how wargamers like to live vicasiously, looking at others toys so here I the unpacking of the Baccus 6mm reinforcements – Dutch Belgians along with a few Brunswickers. Just what I needed, more figures in the lead pile. At this rate I will live forever.
A YouTube video turned up in my “Recommended Viewing” box the other day so I viewed it. It basically covered the early days of wargaming and in particular wargame figure manufacturing. I had pause to think then about my early days of wargaming and what was available then. I started gaming in the early 1970s I think. I can’t recall the exact date and time but I am certain it was after I left school and had cash in my pocket – that would have been 1972 for being out of school but I guess 1975 when there was cash in the pocket. So, around that time, a mate, Jeffrey, called and said, “come around home and let’s have a wargame?”
“Great” says I, “er, what’s a wargame?”.
Rolled up to Jeff’s and he had set up, on a Masonite board, Plasticine hills and a number of Airfix Union and Confederate soldiers and a copy of Donald Featherstone’s War Games. Jeff took the Confederates and whupped my boys good! It was great fun.
The following week we played again, this time Airfix Romans and Ancient Britons (oh how good those Roman Chariots looked). Jeff took the Romans and I the Britons. Let’s just say that the result was Boudicca’s revenge! Both games were probably the most fun I had playing in the early years. Simple rules, two people who did not know enough about the rules or the history to argue the finer points and unpainted plastic figures on the table.
Later we became more mainstream and started frequenting a shop, Models and Figurines, firstly at Naremburn in Sydney and later in Crows Nest where it eventually changed its name to the Tin Soldier.
In those heady days of pioneering wargames in the 1970s (back then it was “War Games” now we refer to “wargames” regardless of the failure of spell checkers to recognize the new fangled spelling from world wide usage) we were somewhat restricted in the figures available. Leaving aside the “flats” (German manufactured historical figures, moulded as flat figures), at the start there was HO/OO/20mm or 1/76 scale (Airfix) and 25mm size figures. The main suppliers we had access to at the start were Airfix (plastic figures and the subject of much conversion work); Hinchliffe (Frank Hinchliffe and designer and wargame figure painter extraordinaire, Peter Gilder); Lamming Miniature (from Bill Lamming); and Minifigs (owner Neville Dickinson and designer Dick Higgs). The clip below shows a news piece from around the mid to late 1980s I think about the setup of Miniature Figurines, the production of figures and wargaming in general. Worth a look for the history of it all.
So, I visited the Gun Bar the other day to pick up those soldiers I have been painting. Anthony was hard at work doing his favourite hobby task … basing … and re-basing, and we all love doing that don’t we. He had his iPad propped up behind the area he was working in and was watching the Richard Sharpe series of videos whilst basing his Napoleonics. I had watched part of one episode a few years back and was amused that for the show the producers seemed to use the same scaling with actors that we wargamers use with figures – namely a 1:50 ratio judging by the number of men in the firing line of the South Essex.
Well, that was all well and good until I got home and thought that maybe I should give the show the benefit of the doubt and at least watch the first episode. So now I am watching the whole series. Just before sleep I watch an episode. Trouble is, each of the episodes is about 100 minutes long. The other trouble is that it has sparked enough of an interest in me to reread the Sharpe Novels.
The worst thing, however, is that it has me thinking about Napoleonic Wargaming again when I was really trying to concentrate on Victorian Science Fiction, 6mm ancients and 1/285 World War 2 this year. Argh, no, hide it away, it is too bright and shiny!
Armatree is out near Dubbo in Central New South Wales, Australia – several hundred kilometres from the sea. For years the area was drought affected then it rained … and rained and rained and recently was flooded. What the farmers there didn’t lose to the drought they lost to the flood. What could not be taken was their sense of humour.
In an effort to provide some cheer to the local community, three of the farmers got together to film a spoof on Baywatch. This is on You Tube.
The three farmers, Hugh, Chris and J.B, filmed the Baywatch spoof as a local Christmas fundraiser. In the true tradition of the Aussie bush they donned the sexy khaki made famous by Steve Irwin and made this short film.
Every so often I come across a You Tube piece that takes my fancy. There have been two recently. One is this one, the Digital Story of the Nativity. Just brilliantly executed. The other is a Baywatch parody that I’ll post later.
In the interim, sit back and enjoy the Digital Story of the Nativity.