Douglas Miniatures Logo

Douglas Miniatures Logo

Monday 31 August 2020

Alan Cook

I was deeply saddened to learn yesterday of the death of Alan Cook, who will be known to many as one of the ABC wargamers.  I only got to know Alan during the last couple of years, but during that short time I thoroughly enjoyed his company, his infectious enthusiasm for all things wargaming and seeing his beautifully painted armies.  The last time I saw Alan we played a short Peninsula War battle, with his long standing friend Bob Black - this was just a fortnight ago.

Alan was a wonderful figure painter and a very talented converter of figures, making and casting hundreds of items. He created an extensive Crimean War collection covering all major adversaries. There were Franco Prussian armies, American Civil War, Russian Civil War, Russo Turkish War, Colonials, the armies for 1866 Austro Prussian War, Warships and I have probably missed out some. He built up his armies and played his games very much in the Old School way.

I wish I had met him sooner, but during the time I did know him I thoroughly enjoyed the hours spent discussing wargaming and model soldiers, as well as playing with them. He will be sorely missed.

It is well worth logging on to the ABC Wargamers blog to see Alan's work, and where I am sure there are more tributes.

Saturday 29 August 2020

Miniature Figurines ACW Restoration Project

This week I managed to restore (well repaint) three ACW units by Miniature figurines. Two of them were stripped back to bare metal.  First off is a Confederate battery, which had been in the paint stripper:

They were a delight to paint, as are all of these lovely old figures.

The second unit was originally painted as Confederate infantry, but they had been varnished, which had turned brown.  My only option was to drop them into the paint stripper and return them to bare metal.  I have painted them as a Federal infantry unit:

The final unit is made up of Union Zouaves. These figures were nicely painted and being blue, had not been affected by the varnish, but they were a bit worn with paint chips.  These figures were restored by adding paint to the earlier work:

I have another unit in the paint stripper and a Union battery half completed.

Monday 24 August 2020

Bavarian napoleonic Foot Artillery

I bought these figures off Ebay a couple of months ago from a chap in France.  The figures had been neatly painted in a very basic way, so I set about touching them up and adding detail, such as facings, buttons, hair etc.  The result is a very pleasing little gun and crew.

The figures are by Miniature Figurines and are 25mm scale:

Friday 21 August 2020

Another Restoration Project

I was looking for something in the garage yesterday when I noticed an old box file tucked away at the back of the shelf.  Not remembering what it contained I took a look, to rediscover an abandoned project.  The box contained a heap of old 25mm Minifigs American Civil War figures that I had picked up at a bargain price a decade or so ago. 

I remember at the time debating what to do with them.  As they were quite nicely painted it seemed a shame to strip them down, but they had been varnished and this had turned the figures into a golden yellow colour.  They had also been mounted on plastic bases and heavily flocked, which had set like concrete and was going to be a pain to scrape off. After pondering for a while the figures went into the too difficult basket and the box slowly worked its way out of sight and out of mind.

Well, I thought, perhaps it is time to do something with them.  A bit more pondering and the decision was made to strip them down and repaint them.  I will use gloss in my usual toy soldier style.

The box contained mostly Confederates, including all sorts of infantry, some artillery and a mass of irregulars, most of which turned out to be non ACW. Here's the box with quite a few already removed:

On the Federal side there are some Zouaves and some irregular infantry.  Here are some examples of the figures in their original state:
It can be seen that they are quite nicely painted, but the picture does not show well the old yellow varnish.  Anyway, into the paint stripper they go.  First out were these artillery men, a mix of CSA and Union:
A blank canvas no less!

Monday 17 August 2020

A Demonstration Game

Last week I was paid a visit by the ABC Wargamers, well B and C (Bob and Alan).  We set out to play a long promised wargame, using a set of heavily adapted Command & Colors rules, that essentially dispensed with the cards and were reduced to one side of A4. The aim was to provide Bob and Alan an introduction to the mechanisms and to provide a quick game.

The scenario was a Peninsula War Napoleonic action which saw a French advance guard attempting to seize a river crossing held by a Spanish force. Reinforcements in the shape of a British Brigade were en route to join the action.  I took on the French, Bob the Spanish and Alan the British.

This is the layout of the action There are more French units off camera to the left:

The French, who were attacking, planned to push hard on the right flank to capture the ford in an attempt to draw off troops from the Spanish centre and left, and hopefully draw in any reinforcements. Once committed the French would switch their attack to the left flank.

Things went well for the French to start with. An artillery bombardment, with infantry and horse artillery moving on the right flank saw off a Spanish regiment and did considerable damage, but a irritating Spanish battery did some damage to the French:

The French plan, however, was working and the British reinforcements arrived and beefed up the Spanish who by now were now under pressure:

With the British committed and the Spanish left fixed, the French attack switched to the other side of the field.  There, a desperate action took place, with both sides committing cavalry to the fray:

The French mounted several attacks but each time they were thrown back by a very spirited Spanish resistance.  Eventually the French were worn down by artillery and musket fire.  It was clear to the French commander that he lacked the forces to breakthrough in sufficient strength and so he broke of his attack upon reaching the exhaustion point.

The battle was a closely fought affair that swung back and forth. At one point it did seem that the French would break through and the battle hung in the balance. But it was not to be. All of the figures used were 25mm Warrior Miniatures.

The victorious allies:
Apart from a few adjustments that will be needed, the game worked well. The whole action was completed in less than two hours; plenty of time for a post match debrief over lunch!

Monday 10 August 2020

Colonial British Infantry

Another unit completed. these are British infantry that I shall use alongside my recently painted Gurkhas and Screw Gun team in an Afghan setting.  The figures are by Barry Minot and must be going on 50 years old:

Sunday 9 August 2020

Dervish Cavalry

This morning I finally finished off my Dervish cavalry. There are 12 figures, which will allow me to use four three figure units if using the Portable Colonial rules.

The figures are by Miniature Figurines and are 25mm scale.  I was a bit dubious about these figures when in their raw metal state, but they don't don't look too bad once painted:

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Gurkhas - more colonial troops

Apologies to those who left comments on my last post, but my laptop seems to have contracted COVID 19 and failed to work.  I have also reverted back to the earlier version of Blogger, which seems to have made life easier.

In the meantime, I have continued to work on my colonial armies, with some more Afghans on the go, a British battalion nearing completion as are a hoard of Dervish cavalry.

Completed yesterday are these Gurkhas. They are original Charles Stadden figures and will provide  adversaries for my Afghan tribesmen: