Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Skaledale Buildings from Hornby

Well we are nearly a quarter-way through the year and I have made my first purchase of the year.
Hornby Skaledale do a great range of model buildings for the railway enthusiast but you can also use some of these for your war gaming tables. I have seen the new range of derelict farm buildings that will do for my Napoleonic battle fields and at the weekend I went along to the toy shop and brought two of the four models available and made a bit of a saving on them.

First up was the farm barn (R9647). This has one of its double doors open and two windows on one side. The other windows on the other side of the barn are boarded up.
The model is well made and painted to a high standard as it would be from Hornby. The windows are great for my little 20mm Airfix/Hat figures as they could use the windows to shoot from.

Also I brought the farm outhouse (R9649) and again it looked great, but a little too small when you stood it by the barn. And like the barn, some of the windows are left open, but when I stood an Airfix figure against it, it was almost looking into the top window.
Still there are two more bits to go along with the theme, the derelict farm house and stables. These look okay in their proportions to my little men and I hope to get these when I go shopping again in April. I made a little saving on these two buildings. The RRP for the two is just over £35 in Modelzone, I managed to pick both up for just under £31. Bargain!

Friday, 23 March 2012

How it all started for me - Part Three

The last time that I talked about how I started this great hobby of wargaming on this blog, I started to tell you about a film that changed my hobby from stamp collecting to wargaming.
It started back in 1970 and I was 14 years old when the film “Waterloo” came out. I can still remember this great film even though it is not historically correct. I remember that my dad took the family to see this film in London at the Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road. I still have the ticket for that day and the colourful programme that I brought with all the information about the actors and how the film was made. The film lasted for over 4 hours and that was edited down from the original 5 hours. Although there was a small break half way through the film, the hours flew by and when I returned home all I could think about was all of them wonderful colourful uniforms and masses columns of soldiers.
This was the film that changed me, but up till then the 1964 film Zulu was my best film ever but is now my second best, the reason being that Airfix did not produce any Zulu War figures which was a great shame. But even by 1970, Airfix had only produced two Waterloo sets of figures and it was not till 1971 that they brought out the French foot artillery set again in cream coloured plastic.

So my French army had Heavy cavalry and now Foot artillery. The poor old English had just the Highlanders but that was all to change in the following year.
But before then, I really started to enjoy the hobby as it was about this time in the summer school holidays that me and a group of friends began a campaign of 20mm Airfix soldiers out in my back garden in Eltham. The two armies had about three generals a side, one being in complete command. Two maps of the garden were given to the two commanders with the path around the garden being a large river. The figures were mainly WWII but I included my Waterloo figures and even my WWI soldiers that I still had for my army. As the campaign grew some started to get really serious about the game and started to buy up loads of Airfix soldiers and their plastic complete lorries and tanks sets that were around then. It was great fun and for a long while after the game, my dad used to find soldiers now and then when he was digging in the garden.
In 1972 it was a boom year for Airfix and for us Napoleonic wargaming/collectors. For it was in this year that Airfix brought out four new Waterloo sets. The first two to come out was the British Hussars and French Line Infantry. At least the armies are now beginning to look even on both sides. The British Infantry were next to come out followed by the British Royal Horse artillery. All four sets came out in their famous cream coloured plastic.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

2000 Hits!

Wow what a nice surprise today to see that I have now had over 2000 hits on my blog. That makes it over 1000 hits in just 9 months. Can we get to 3000 by the end of the year? Well only time will tell on that.
If you regularly look at my blog then I would like to thank you very much in taking a look now and then. I have tried to put a little bit of information up each month so it is slowly growing. The plan is to take some pictures of my little army and hoping that the weather is going to be kind to me this at some point at the weekend because this is now lacking on this blog good old colour pictures of what I have painted.
I must admit that time is always against me with work and home life. There never seems to be the time these days to sit down and do some painting as I am always tired after a long day at work and the drive home.
Still as I have said before, I am still managing to do bits here and there. So keep looking and once again Thanks for looking in and making an old man happy.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Marshals and Generals


Francois Joseph Lefebvre

Born: 1755 Rouffach, Alsace, France

Died: 1820 Paris, France

Rank: Marshal of France

Francois Lefebvre was born in Rouffach, Alsace, on the 25th October 1755. He was a son of a Hussar, Francois enlisted in the French army at the age of 18 and like his close friend Michel Ordener, he welcomed the French Revolution.
In 1783 he married Catherine Hubscher with whom he had 14 children with, although none living to survive him (His last son died in 1812 in battle).

In 1789 he was a Sergeant in the Gardes Francaises, and like most of the regiment, he joined the revolution. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1793 where he took part in the Battle of Fleurus in June the following year. After the death of General Louis Lazare Hoche’s, Lefebvre commanded the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse in September of 1797. He then later commanded the vanguard of the Army of the Danube under Jourdan in March 1799, although for the first week of the campaign he was incapacitated with ringworm and Dominique Vandamme replaced him temporarily. He was later injured at the Battle of Ostrach where the Advance Guard bore the brunt of the early fighting. In November 1799, Lefebvre commanded the Paris troops and reluctantly agreed to support Napoleon in his coup d’etat.
In 1800 Napoleon appointed him senator and by 1804, Napoleon made him a Marshal of the Empire. Lefebvre commanded a division of the Old Guard in the German campaign of 1805.At the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt in 14th October 1806, Lefebvre commanded the infantry of the Imperial Guard. He besieged and took Danzig in 1807, which won him the title of Duc de Danzig (Duke of Danzig).
In 1808 he took part in the Peninsula War and in 1809 he commanded the Bavarian army at the battles of Eckmuhl and Wagram. Defeated by Tyrolean patriot Andreas Hofer in the same year, he was replaced. He later commanded the Old Guard in the French invasion of Russia in 1812 and in the German 1813 and French campaigns of 1814, with the War of the Sixth Coalition.

He voted for the Emperor’s deposition at the Senate and during the First Restoration in June 1814, he was made Peer of France by Louis XVIII, but rallied to Napoleon for the Hundred Days and survived the Battle of Waterloo.

Lefebvre was excluded from the House of Peers during the Second Restoration. However, he retained his rank of Marshal. Louis XVIII restored his peerage on 5th March 1819. He died on 14th September 1820 at the age of 64 and was buried near Andre Massena at the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

He never forgot the hard work that brought him rank and wealth. When a friend expressed envy of his estate, Levebvre said “Come down in the courtyard, and I’ll have ten shots at you with a musket at 30 paces. If I miss, the whole estate is yours.”
The friend naturally declined his offer, and Lefebvre then added, “I had a thousand bullets shot at me from much closer range before I got all this.”

Friday, 9 March 2012

Prussian Campaign Medal for 1815 (Waterloo Medal)

The medal was instituted by King Friedrich Wilhelm III at Frankfurt-am-Main on the 24th December 1813 and amended on 3rd October 1815 to be awarded to ‘all warriors who without exception, whether in the field or before a fortress, truly fought and uncompromisingly did their duty throughout this current conflict’. This circular gilt bronze medal with loop for ribbon suspension.
The ribbon colour was gold centre with black and white striped edging and 32mm in width. On the front of the medal it has a cross pattée with rays between the arms, the date “1815” centrally within a laurel wreath. On the reverse side with the crowned cipher of Friedrich Wilhelm III above the inscription “Preubens tapfern kriegern” (Prussia’s brave warriors) circumscribed ‘Gott war mit uns, Ihn sey die Ehre’ (God was with us To Him the Glory) On the edging is inscribed ‘AUSEROBERTEM GESCHUTZ’ (from captured cannon). This medal is a generic one as the same medal exists with other dates inscribed on the medal. They are 1813, 1814, 1813/1814 and 1815 and with square and rounded ends to the cross.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Donald Featherstone's Solo Wargaming

Published by Kayle and Ward

Pages 201 plus covers

Originally published in 1973 and written by Donald Featherstone, this book was re-printed back in 2009 by
The book is packed from cover to cover with a load’s of information for Solo wargamers especially in the early stages of this hobby who are unable to find other opponents in their area where they live, to fight on their table top battlefield.
This book describes many methods of manoeuvring two armies which you both command. Mr Featherstone has written this book well to understand wargaming and with helpful hints and tips to help you on the way to solo wargaming. Although there are no rules to use in this book, there is a lot of information and ideas to help you make your own set of rules. This book has over 60 illustrations and they are all in black and white. There are 23 chapters in this book which include


and many more. This book is well worth the read.