Sunday 7 January 2024

Welcome to 2024

 2023 was a bit of a rollercoaster with a lot of real life interreference which was a shame as it all started off so well. Sadly, by November even the re-basing of the Gilder figures stalled and the planned solo battle called off completely.

So welcome 2024. While I do not anticipate too much for the first few weeks of the year I can at least give an update on the Classic 20mm ACW collection.

First off the 2nd US Cavalry now touched up (the standard bearer's horse was damaged) and based.

Hinton Hunt only produced two ACW cavalry figures, same pose but one with kepi and the other a slouch hat.

I just need to add some dismounted figures which I will be ordering from Jacklex soon.

Then there is the 1st United States infantry who are now next in the re-basing queue.

The infantry are all converted HH Napoleonic figures as follows (L to R):

 FN/2 French Line Grenadier

BN/20 British Rifles Bugler

BN/14  British Ensign Kings Colour

FN/1 French Officer

DN/1 Belgian Infantry Officer (also see Maryland Guard)

FN/2 once more

Again the FN/2 figures show exactly the same imperfections which leads me to conclude they are a single figure conversion which has then been re-cast.

So best wishes for the New Year to one and all.

Tuesday 7 November 2023

More Jacklex Confederate Infantry

My latest addition to the collection; some Jacklex Reb infantry in firing pose.

 The collection moves on apace, especially as a considerable amount of Gilder figures are being re-based. The next unit is a unit of Gilder Union cavalry (with a lot more Gilder infantry in the queue).

There are also a significant number of my own work nearing completion.

I am planning on bringing them all onto the field in a solo game around Christmas

Saturday 28 October 2023

The Maryland Guard

I was undecided for a long while on whether to base these figures the same way as the rest of the Classic 20mm collection. Ultimately though I think I made the right decision. The figures had been re-based once before, the spirit based varnish I added will protect them from the water based materials I used to build up the bases and can easily be removed after a soak in water. 

Perhaps (more sadly) I actually thought after they pass from my collection who will actually appreciate their importance? 

Tomorrow's "classic collections" will be Wargames Foundry, Warhammer, Front Rank etc?

Still, I intend to let them battle on for a few years longer. I am basing up some more Gilder troops, this time Union cavalry and put the finishing touches to another unit of Jacklex Reb infantry.

Saturday 21 October 2023

A Little Piece Of Wargaming History

 I have previously described how these images of the 20mm ACW wargame between Donald Featherstone and Peter Gilder really propelled me into wargaming as a hobby. 

The clearly identified Airfix figures and the (unknown to me at the time) Hinton Hunt figures plus Featherstone's wargaming books from the local library had a profound effect and took the eleven year old Matt into his life-long hobby.

When the 1964 collection came up for sale on Ebay from Hinds I could not resist diving in and grabbing myself an armful of wargaming history. 

I give you the first of the batch which is rather surprisingly made up from converted Napoleonic Hinton Hunt figures. I give you the Maryland Guard (sound of drums):

They arrived like this, plastic bases and old flocking. There are some chips but I decided not to attempt repairs - 60 years of service and still looking good!

I like to think that they were painted by PG himself. At this stage he was not the famed figure sculptor/rule writer he was to become and the Wargames Newsletter article regarding this game here certainly suggests they are all his own work. 

From the bases (and a bit of internet searching to confirm it all)  I can identify the original figures as, left to right: DN1 Belgian Infantry Officer, BN 25 British Horse Artillery Officer and DN3 Belgian Infantry Charging. Rather than one off conversions I can see from the matching imperfections that they were converted and then cast. I think the kepis were created by filing down the shakos as the heads do not match original ACW figures I have.

The flag bearer is Airfix and fortunately not brittle so he stays with the unit he has bravely led through the decades.

Finally the flags appear to confirm their authenticity. Red for the rebels and blue for the Union with unit names painted on.

This unit appears to be 2nd US Infantry. I have the 1st US Infantry in this same style.

So, removed from their bases, cleaned up with cotton swabs dipped in odourless white spirit and a new coat of matt varnish applied to the non metallic bits here are the results so far.

While I do not generally add figures painted by others into my collections I think we can say these toys are a worthy exception. More of these gems to follow, plus their Jacklex colleagues and a foray into home casting for the rest of 2023.

Thursday 12 October 2023

Chasseurs D'Afrique

The French Chasseurs D'Afrique are definitely in my top top three cavalry uniforms of all time and the addition of these beauties is long overdue. Perry Miniatures as per the rest of the collection.

They are off to fight at SELWG on Sunday, so if you go please pop over and say hello to the chaps from SEEMS and cheer them on. I will be miles away dealing with "life stuff" instead!

That concludes this particular stage of the 28mm FPW collection.  I will be re-visiting in the New Year.

As promised I will now be re-visiting some of my stalled 20mm projects; starting with the Classic 20mm ACW project.