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Monday, 5 July 2021

Spring Review and Army Reforms

My recent reviews of my armies has moved on to a rationalisation process that examined my figure holdings compared to what I really need. I was somewhat shocked at what I discovered.

Now, I have been collecting soldiers since the late 1960s and have accumulated a wide variety in significant numbers.  One reason for this is that I simply like toy soldiers and really enjoy painting them but as a wargamer there are far more than I need.  I worked out that I had five French 25mm napoleonic armies; a Minifig, a Minifig S Range, Prince August, Warrior and Ros Figures.  I decided to shed three, leaving one for the Penisular War and the other for more general conflict.  

I did the same for my British armies shedding an almost equal number.  In addition I rid myself of a large Austrian and a Russian army.  My collection of 1/72 plastic tanks and vehicles has gone (to a very good home) as well as Minifig Roman and Barbarian armies.  In all I have reduced my holdings by about 3000 figures both painted and unpainted.

The decision to do this was not taken lightly and I really loved many of those collections, but they would never all be used and the lead mountain is now just a large hill.

This process has been very time consuming, but I am nearing the end of it and I look forward to spending more time on the remaining armies, which remain quite large.

I have a Warrior British army and another made up of Ros figures, a Ros Prussian Army, French armies by Ros and Warrior, Minifigs S Range Russian and Austrians, as well as a Bavarian force.  I also still have my Ros Prussian.  Plenty to keep me busy!

I look forward to getting back to painting and gaming.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Spring Review of my True 25mm French Napoleonic Army

Following a request from one of my blog readers I paraded my 25mm French army.  These are true 25mm, being Minifigs S Range, Ros and Warrior figures.  This is very much a work in progress as I rebase and refurbish these old soldiers.  All of the Warrior figures are complete and about half of the Ros; however, apart from a few cavalry most of the Minifigs S Range are in need of more work.

An overview:

The Ros artillery:

Ros infantry:

Warrior infantry:

Minifigs S Range:

Minifigs S Range cavalry:

Warrior cavalry:

The figures at the back of the above picture are all Ros on old light green bases.  These will be rebased and refurbished.

Thursday, 13 May 2021


Having just painted my Airfix French Foreign Legion, I could not resist digging out my copy of Beau Geste.  Written in 1924, it is that well known tale of the Legion in Algeria.  

Unfortunately I do not have an original, with my book being reprinted in 1994; however, it does contain those wonderful illustrations by Helen McKie, of which some are in colour.

I especially like picture 2 as he gazes towards Airfix Fort Sahara! Lots of inspiration, although my recollection of the story is vague and I will have to read it again.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Airfix Type 1 French Foreign Legion

I have had the first issue French Foreign Legion in my figure collection for as long as I remember, certainly back to the 1960s.  However, I have never painted them before.  So, having just painted some Airfix Arabs, I thought an opponent might be required.

I was surprised how these figures improve with a bit of paint, to such an extent that I might set up a small wargame:

Saturday, 8 May 2021

WW2 British Anti-Tank Teams 20mm & Airfix Arabs

 Continuing my way through my ancient WW2 Hinchliffe figures, I decided to paint some anti-tank elements. The first figures man a 2pdr anti-tank gun, which I think was originally a Hinchliffe casting, but this one was released under the Caldercraft label.  The crew are early Hincliffe gunners:

The second team is made up of the infamous PIAT gunner, who has to drag part of a brick wall around with him that is moulded into the base.  The number 2 on the weapon is actually a mortar loader, but I thought that the team needed two figures:

For a bit of fun I painted a pile of Airfix Bedouin Arabs.  These should make a useful enemy for the French Foreign Legion or even in a Northwest frontier action:

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

WW1 Hex Mat

 For my forthcoming foray into WW1 trench warfare, I thought it would be quite good to invest in a mat for my tabletop.  I spotted one on the cigar box website and placed an order.  A few weeks later it turned up.

The mat is made of a fleecy material and lies on the table nice and smoothly with no wrinkles.  I had mine over printed with 3" hexes to suit 15mm scale figures.  Here is a close shot of the mat:

It is supposed to represent a war torn terrain, with no man's land depicted by the heavy shelled area.  Here is wider view of the mat with its shell holes:

I like the mat, however, my one gripe is that the printed image stays the same size regardless of the hex size.  This makes the shell craters really too large for 15mm scale.  In fact you would need massive hexes for some of the larger shell holes.  All that said, by the time terrain features are placed on the table, such as hills, woods and wire the craters will likely fade into the background a bit.

We will see how it looks when I set up a game.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Hinchliffe 20mm German Infantry

 In the catelogue, Hinchliffe list G2 as a figure advancing with SMG.  This early Hinchliffe figure, I suspect, is meant to represent an NCO wearing a field cap.  In my opinion this is the worst figure brought out by Hinchliffe.  The casting is crude, the pose is strange, with limbs out of proportion and the sub-machine gun is very crude to say the least.  However, the figure is part of the 20mm WW2 range and part of the history of this company.

I decided to paint this figure (and his colleagues) and an officer and ammunition carrier, in tropical uniform as I could not see him fitting in alongside my other figures: