Sunday, 2 June 2019

The Leibgarde

Presenting... The Vaubarian Leibgarde 

 The Leibgarde is commanded by Lt Col von Matthaus.

There are a few points to note about this unit which mark it out as different to other Vaubarian infantry regiments. 
First, the drummer does not have reversed coat colours. 
Second, the regiment has both its white flag and its blue flag featuring the Vaubarian coat of arms in the centre of the wreath.
Other regiments have a white flag with the Vaubarian coat of arms in the centre of the wreath (with regimental device in top corner near flagstaff), and a blue flag with regimental device in the centre of the wreath, and no coat of arms.

Other than that, the Leibgarde is a standard line battalion. They will not gain any elite classification on the tabletop.

Here is the whole Brigade on the march.

IR 1 = The Leibgarde (white cuffs)
IR2 = Regt Dremel (yellow facings)
IR 3 = Regt Breitner (red facings)

… commanded by Brigadier von Schweinsteiger.

Figures are Front Rank. Painted by yours truly, as were the flags.
Given that it's a fictional country, I wish I had chosen a simpler coat of arms/ flag design! 
Still, it passes the time whilst watching the cricket world cup... or Aston Villa's glorious exploits at Wembley last Monday. Some people thought I wouldn't get through a blog post without mentioning that fact. They were right!

That's all for now...

Monday, 29 April 2019


… can come when least expected.

I was about to get a train back from Manchester Piccadilly on Saturday evening when I chanced upon the latest edition of Wargames Illustrated in the station's WH Smiths. 
I rarely get the magazines these days, but with a train journey of a couple of hours ahead, I decided it would make for good company on the way home.

And I'm so glad I did.
I was pleasantly surprised by the content of this issue, for us "mainstream"/ traditional wargamers.
Amongst other things, the main source of inspiration came from 2 sections...

1. Bill Gaskin's photo shoot - showcasing his Napoleonic and SYW collections. Now, there were some glaring oddities about some of the captions (to label a SYW unit as "5th Prussian Musketeers" when they are clearly carrying Hessian flags is a bit of a goof, for example). However, Bill's collection is superb, and no mistake. I couldn't help thinking that the photos were a bit "busy" and there could have been more thought about the choreography and composition of the shots, but I can imagine that seeing the Gaskin collection in Bill's legendary wargames room would cause massive overwhelm, and a desire to just click away at the shutter as fast and as often as possible! Lots of eye-candy to enjoy.

2. The second item that really caught my attention was the piece by David Bickley about his Italian Wars project. I've "done" Italian Wars (way back in the past), and it's a colourful and vibrant period. Yet, it wasn't so much the period that inspired me, but the way David and his pal Phil (a different one) have gone about their collection. It's a good read. Well done to them both.

Finally... there have been a couple of 'offline' enquiries about the Napoleonics for sale (see previous post, below), but nothing is yet concrete... so if you fancy them, drop me a comment.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

A few figures for sale

I have run out of shelf space in my cabinets!
So, I am doing a bit of rationalising... which means a few units are up for sale.

These Napoleonics were painted within the last few months, but I have decided not to pursue the project further.
Therefore, I have for sale a Prussian infantry battalion, and 3 French infantry battalions.

First up, The Prussians. 24 Figures.

Next, The French:

Prussians £120

French: the 3 battalions for £300

There are a load of GMB flags also that I will put in with the figures, as well as some spare castings (in the case of the Prussians)

For picking up at Partizan, preferably.

Let me know in the comments below if you are interested.


Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Knife Angel and a "New Faction"?!

Pottering around Coventry town centre recently, I stopped at The Knife Angel installation outside the Cathedral.
It's a very powerful piece of art, and well worth a look.

I recently called into a local Games Workshop to stock up on paints. 
The usual question was deftly delivered as I browsed the paint racks... you know the one:

"What is it you're painting at the moment?"

It's a great opening gambit.

And, I usually just reply, "Oh, I just paint historical stuff, y'know."

To which the well-trained shop assistant usually says something like, "Oh cool... like Napoleonics?" (I have often mused that their stock period might be "Napoleonics" on a Monday, "Ancients" on a Tuesday, "American Civil War" on a Wednesday, and so on).
"Well, mainly 18th century" is my usual response, and that's where the brief engagement usually finishes.

But this time, I decided to be a little mischievous...
So, the exchange went something like this...

Assistant: "What is it you're painting at the moment?"
Me: "Have you heard of Vaubarians?"
Assistant: "Erm, no."
Me: "Well, I shouldn't really tell anyone... But, it's a new Faction that GW are bringing out next year. I've got all the pre-releases to paint up for the online shop, White Dwarf, the catalogues, and codexes. Y'know, like they do. Now, you must promise not to tell anyone, or we'll both be in real trouble!"
Assistant: "Wow! No problem. that's fab. Just let me know if you need anything."
Me: "Yeah, it's cool... I just have to keep all the receipts so I can claim it all back from GW central. But I can buy what I need. So, thanks for your help."

I was careful to make sure I used such 'down-wiv-da-kids' lingo as "Faction" and "Codex" and the like.

Well, it kept me amused.

Next year, of course, I'll have to tell him that they pulled the range in the end, but that they often do that...

Anyway, if you've read this far, you deserve a couple of photos of Vaubarian Cuirassiers. This is regiment Vogts.

The reverse of their flag features St Sebastian... patron saint of Vaubaria.

Thanks for visiting, and for all the recent comments. Much appreciated.

Saturday, 20 April 2019



… The Podolski Hussars, in the service of The Electorate of Vaubaria, circa 1704.

Since this is an early period for hussars to appear in, I decided to make the uniforms relatively basic, and leave the pelisses off (adding a wolf pelt to the officer, as was the fashion at the time).

The white rose motif appears on the Podolski family heraldry, so it seemed to fit.

Figures are Foundry.
Flag is hand-painted.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Spring update

It's been a great start to 2019, and as we hurtle headlong to Easter, I'm at the paint-desk at last.
In the next few days, I'll have a fresh unit to show for these efforts, but meantime, what has been keeping me occupied?
in other words, what is my mitigation for not posting about model soldiers and wargaming these past few weeks.

First... a bit of trumpet blowing, with no apology whatsoever...

I'm very proud that over the past 2 years I have led a project, putting on "Strictly-style" dance competitions here in Coventry to raise funds for a local baby hospice. The first year (2017), we raised £64,000. 
We recently got the final tally for 2018; £90,000!
No mean feat (or feet... pardon the pun). 


I get to chair the project, and MC the shows... which is hard work, but great fun.

Amongst all that, Dianne and I recently had a bit of a break in Alicante.
Lovely place, and a well-earned rest...

Can't get enough of the local castles... they're so Moorish! (groan!!)

Anti-Social? Moi?
It was drawn to my attention, that my 2007 Polish Winged Hussars game was being lauded on twitter recently, courtesy of Henry Hyde. Thanks Henry.. and to the many who retweeted, liked and commented. with the exception of keeping a 'watching brief' on certain FB wargaming groups, I don't do wargaming on social media (I have my reasons), but I am grateful for all the kind comments. 

This week, and next, I'm taking some time off for Easter, so expect some actual painting to take place, and the odd picture to appear here.

Monday, 25 February 2019

New School Imagi-Nations - Choosing the figures

Thanks to all who commented last time. My ramblings seemed to have struck a chord with many... which is very gratifying indeed. So, on with the rationale behind our new project...

We settled down, one summer lunchtime, in our Top Secret favourite haunt (Fosseway Indie-Fencibles HQ, somewhere deep in the Cotswolds) over gammon and chips, to discuss figures.

Yes, gammon and chips… “No pineapple ring, thanks mate.”
Whoever first thought about putting a pineapple ring on top of a piece of gammon should be… well, let’s not get carried away…
Back to our storyline…

Right at the outset, we agreed that the painting of the figures is what derails most wargaming projects. Or rather, the not painting of figures.
How often has a wargamer, practically every wargamer, certainly including me, got started on a new project, a new collection, with vigour and intensity…

Then something happens.
Something gets in the way.

A new range of figures, a new shiny project, a new thought that creates the “wish I’d done it differently” moment that results in “now I need to change the figures/ change the basing/ change the painting style” moment of doubt that derails the whole thing.
So, we decided to have a lengthy planning phase.  This also allowed us to bring to fruition a few other little projects, or at least get to the point where energy and focus could be devoted to this one.

Choosing the figure range (and therefore the period to set the project in) was crucial. We wanted speed and ease of mail ordering (this would allow a ‘unit at a time’ approach, rather than having an over-facing lead mountain). We wanted single figures, separate riders/horses, and a complete range (so not a case of waiting for new releases to keep the project moving). The decision to go with the Front Rank WSS range was taken on this basis. Not only that, but they are figures we both admire, and have a penchant to paint.  

above: Vaubarian Infantry Regt 3 - Breitner 

This was also aided by the desire to set the project firmly in the horse and musket period as we feel it is most suitable for the types of games we want to play… the ubiquitous balanced forces of Horse, Foot, and Guns being the order of the day.
Now, we won’t pretend that it was easy to reach this point. Although, the period and figures were mentioned right at the outset in our conversations, we subsequently visited practically every century, perused every range of figures, and explored every avenue of possibilities to decide on our project. At one point, “sending off for a few sample figures” became, “oh dear, I seem to have ordered a whole brigade!” … and not only that, a brigade for a period we subsequently discarded! Frequent emails, meetings at our adopted HQ, and get-togethers at wargaming shows, allowed us time to make the right decision. This also allowed time for a few other existing hobby ventures to be given full attention and brought to fruitful completion before launching properly into this project. 

Above: Astrovian IR1 - Frankl

Next time, I'll talk about the countries we've settled upon and some of the other "essentials" of the new venture.