Thursday, 31 December 2015

Birthday And Christmas

I have just realised that I have not told you of my wargaming presents for my Birthday which was back in October and what I was given for Christmas.
Well they are all in the picture above. At the back is the “Waterloo” book by Peter & Dan Snow. Below the book on the right is a set of playing cards from Waterloo 200 and below them a replica Waterloo Medal which I shall display in a box picture frame. The Napoleon figure next to the cards is from from a French company called Bonap-art. I have taken a look at their site but all they seem to do at the moment is just mugs, pens and towels with Napoleon’s motif on them and a couple of other figures. Their web site is One thing that I forgot to put into the picture was the Wargames Illustrated PAINTS, which is a guide to painting wargaming figures. A bit expensive for 74 pages of coloured pictures but I hope that this guide will give me a bit of help with my painting. All of these I had for my Birthday.

For Christmas I received the 28mm Conflix “Priests House” to finish of my Conflix collection. In front of this is the S&A Scenics cobbled road pack. I already own one of these but you can never have too much cobbled roads.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas From The General

Well it’s that time of year once again and the years seem to be flying by. I would like to thank my eight followers once again this year and may-be I’ll have some more next year? If you are one of the many that have taken a look at my blog then I wish you all the best for the coming year.
So if you are visiting friends or family over the Christmas period I hope that you will be treated to some lovely presents this year.

A Very Merry Christmas to You and Your Family

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Holiday Treasures

At last if have found some batteries for my camera and here is what I have found while I have been on holidays this year.
I have never been a “boot sale” sort of guy but when I ventured into one on my holiday, not far from where we were staying, I was really surprised in what I found.  There was a chap that was selling his sons old 20 mm plastic figures from various companies and periods. At the bottom of this large box that he had, there was these two boxes that I could use. You can never have enough wagons and although I do already have these Italeri French Army Support Convoy waiting in the production line to paint, there was always room for another box. The man said that all the bits were there and when I opened the box, the wagon and pieces were still on the spur in a badly crushed box. The other box was the Revell British Foot Artillery which could join my other two boxes that I have. Great so far! And for how much?  One pound fifty pence per box. Great I’ll take these two please! Taking the man’s word, I put the two boxes in my bag and walked off back to where we were staying. It was then that I found that the Revell’s box contained not artillery but a box of their Seven Year war French Hussars. Dam!

Still my next purchase was when we went to Miniature Worlds in Wroxham in Norfolk. This is fairly new and it is all about train layouts. Now I like looking at these as you can get some good ideas about how to blend in buildings and stone walls into your table layouts etc. At their shop I brought two packs of trees which contained seven in all and for a pound each in their “For Sale” box.

Next was top pop into The Works, which is a great book shop for me and very cheap, so when I saw this book “Voices from the Napoleonic Wars” by Jon E. Lewis for just £3, I  had to have.

Next time that you are doing a  bit of DIY your house take a look in B&Q as when I did I found that they were selling tester pots for just 50 pence each. So with a river section that I brought from SELWG years ago, I thought it was about time I did something with it. The colour I picked up for this job was, marine, blue capri, choco, sunflower, black and sand stone. 

Last but not least a trip to Scotland, for my 60th Birthday in October, took us to Edinburgh where I found a Model Shop called “Wonderland Models” and when looking at all the mountains of plastic figures, I can across a box of Italeri British Light Cavalry for just £4.99 pence. A great bargain as my first box of these cost me £5.99 pence years ago. So in all a good year for me and I hope to do more Boot sales next year! Well you never know what will turn up next.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

A Big Thank You

Looking at my blog yesterday I see that I have now reached a grand total of 20,000 hits. If you are one of these, then I thank you for your time in looking around my blog. To my eight followers many thanks and hope that you will keep following me as I try to get projects done and putting post up on here.
Although I have once again stopped painting my armies, I have been doing a lot of reading to date Bernard Cornwell’s “Waterloo” is one of them that I finished reading way back in March of this year. I have also finished another book which I will review later for you.

Although it’s been a quite year for me in my hobby, I have brought a few things this year and once again when I can I will put up some pictures for you to see what treasures I have found. Unfortunately I do not have a mobile phone with a camera on it and so I have to rely on the old camera, but camera batteries are hard to find and when you do find them, they are very expensive. That’s technology for you!

Friday, 27 November 2015

WATERLOO by Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell - Waterloo

Published by William Collins

Pages 352 plus covers

Many will know Bernard Cornwell as the author to the famous Sharpe novels that were published in 1981 (Sharpe’s Eagle and Sharpe’s Gold) and then made into a television series from 1993-1997 about a fictional officer played by Sean Bean who ended his career in the 95th Rifles during the Napoleonic Wars. This is Bernard’s very first non-fictional history book and what a great book it is.
First Published in 2014 by British publishers William Collins, it contains twelve chapters of meticulously storytelling of the four days of the Battle of Waterloo. Starting with Napoleons escape from Elba it takes you through the smoke and gore of the three battlefields and their aftermath. Giving detailed accounts from letters and diaries from Emperor Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, and from ordinary officers and soldiers of the three armies. Bernard has taken great pains to research the four days of battle to give a riveting account of every dramatic moments and bravery, heroism and tragedy on both sides.
The book is near full of wonderful colour pictures and maps of the battlefield at certain stages of the battles.

Monday, 12 October 2015

SELWG 15 Report

It was a nice sunny but crisp autumn day as I got ready to go to this year’s SELWG at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
The car journey was a pleasant one with hardly any traffic on the roads, but there was a bit of a parking problem when we reached the car parking area. Still I managed to find somewhere to park and with a little walk to the centre we arrived just after 11 am.
There was no queue at all at the doors and the same price for a ticket as last year.
I usually first take a look around all the trade stands to see what’s new for this year but there did not seem much on offer. First I went to the Harfield stand and although lots of plastic figures here for sale, there was nothing I really wanted but I did by the Conflix-Guild Master’s House to build up my village/town. Great start to the show.

The Bring & Buy stall was not that bad and so a quick look at what’s on offer here before moving on. The concourse seemed then to be busy but when I looked at the main hall below, where were all the visitor’s gone? It now seems that each year there is less trade stands, less wargaming tables and less people and I think that SELWG could be in trouble here with future shows.

Still I had a look at the trade stands in the hall with ease and once again there were lots of 28 mm figures and laser buildings on sale. Here I brought some more laser bases from Products for Wargamers.
We had an early lunch before going around the wargaming tables for the second half of our visit.
Once again the tables were fantastic and it seems that each year the layouts are getting better and better.

The best participation game was by the Crawley Wargamers WWI game with their “Stretcher Bearer”. This had players from all different ages and it looked a very fun game to play. Each of the players had a pair of stretcher bearers and they had to get back to their lines across No-Mans-Land with their casualty. First one back to the Aid Station wins.

The best wargaming action was from a “Waterloo Game” but I forgot to get the clubs name. The layout consisted of the La Haye Sainte farm and lots of teddy bear fields.
This 28 mm game really did look the part and I give this game the best of the day.

Sorry about the pictures as my camera gave up on me and I had to use a mobile phone for these. Still the time at SELWG went really quick and we left about 2 pm.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Bristish Light Cavalry Sabre 1796 Pattern

Captain John Gaspard Le Marchant serving as a brigade major of the 2nd Dragoon Guards came up with the idea of a light cavalry sabre after he noticed how clumsy the design of the heavy, over-long swords was being used by the British Army at the time of the French Revolution.
With the collaboration with the Birmingham sword cutler Henry Osborn, a new sabre was born. In 1796 the new Light Cavalry Sabre was adopted by the British Army in 1796 and was used by them until 1821.
The sabre was used by mainly by the British Light Dragoons, Hussars and the King’s German Legion light cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars. It was later also adopted by the Prussians (1811), Portuguese and Spanish cavalry and became the finest cutting sword ever manufactured in quantity.

The sword was made of steel with the blade between 32.5 and 33 inches in length measured in a straight line from the hilt to the tip of the sword. The sword had an average weight of 2lbs 2oz.
The handle was made of wood and covered with black leather. A single rivet joined the handle to the blade near the hilt. The hand was protected by a stirrup D shaped single bar knucklebow of iron.
The blade had a pronounced curve with a spear point tip being border from the tip than at the hilt and was very sharp from the last six inches of the blade, making it ideal for hacking and slashing.

The scabbard was also made of steel with wooden liners and had two loose suspension rings.
The mounted swordsmanship training of the British emphasised the cut, at the face for maiming or killing, or at the arms to disable. This left masses of mutilated/disabled troops, the French in contrast, favoured the thrust, which gave a cleaner kill.
Officers of the famous 95th Rifles and other light infantry regiments and the flank companies of the line regiments adopted swords with an identical hilt to the 1796 light cavalry sabre, but with a lighter and shorter blade.

John Le Marchant introduced a series of reforms to the British cavalry but he sadly died leading a cavalry charge at Salamanca 22nd July 1812.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

The Film "Waterloo" 1970

The film “Waterloo” came out in 1970 when I was fifteen years old and I went to see this film on 2nd December 1970 at the Odeon Theatre in Leicester Square, London.  (Price of a ticket, just 16/- or 80 pence)
Waterloo was a joint Soviet-Italian film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and was produced by Dino De Laurentiis.
The film is all about the build up of the events to the battle and the Battle of Waterloo its-self. As the credits are still rolling we see Napoleons ship making his return to France and this is where the film really starts, with the build-up to one of the most famous battles in our history.

The film had quite a few famous actors playing the biggest parts with Rod Steiger as Emperor Napoleon and Christopher Plummer as Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. Orson Welles played King Louis XVIII of France while Virginia McKenna played Charlotte Lennox, The Duchess of Richmond.
In uniform we had Jack Hawkins as Sir Thomas Picton, although at the time he had throat cancer and could not speak properly, so his part was voiced over when final editing was done to the film. Terence Alexander played the Earl of Uxbridge; Ian Ogilvy was De Lancey and Michael Wilding as Sir William Ponsonby.

Waterloo was originally over 4 hours long with an intermission half way through the film. The film begins with Napoleon in the Chateau de Fontainebleau in 1814 with Paris is besieged by the Austrian army. Napoleon is urged by his marshals to abdicate. He first refuses, but upon hearing of the surrender of his last army under Auguste Marmont with 30,000 men he realizes there is no hope and agrees. Napoleon is then banished to the island of Elba with a personal guard of 1,000 men, but he then manages to escape back to France in March 1815.
The first battle we see is a quick look at the battle at Quarte-Bras and then Ligny with the Prussians against the French and if I can remember correctly that we then see the British Army falling back to Waterloo after the battle for Quarte-Bras. Most of the film is taken up with the famous battle itself and what great battle scenes. I have seen many war films on the big screen but not as big as this. The number of men involved and the splendid colours of all the uniforms with their flags flying and the drums and bugles playing, we are then thrown into the world of war with Napoleons grand battery starting the bombardment, the screen is then filled with smoke and the shouts of dying men as the cannons find their targets. The film shows the hard fighting and defence around the two farmhouses of Hougourmont and La Haye Sainte. I will not do a blow by blow account of the battle or the film as you can see this for yourself.

With all its faults, I did and still do enjoy looking at the film although the film has been cut down to just 123 minutes for TV and that time has been transferred to Video’s and now DVD which is a great shame as the cut version does jump about the battlefield a bit. I think that it may be because, as I can remember, a lot of limbs where flying off when attacks started through cannon balls and cavalry attacks hacking the infantry to bits. The cut down version does not even show Wellington meeting up with Blucher after the battle which I think is an important part of the film.

The film was shown world-wide so there must be a copy of the full version of the film somewhere in the world? There has never been anything like it since to take away the great effort in making the film “Waterloo”.

Some film’s in the 70’s produced a colour booklet with their first showing and Waterloo was no exception. Columbia Pictures published a 28-page full-colour guide to the film which cost me about £2 and like my ticket, I still own. The booklet had many pictures of the battle scenes and how the film came to be made in Russia.
It states that to recreate the battlefield authentically, the Russians bulldozed away two hills, laid over five miles of roads, transplanted 5,000 trees, sowed fields of rye, barley and wildflowers and building the four historic buildings. To create the muddy fields more than six miles of underground irrigation pipes were specially laid.
The filming took just 28 weeks, which included 16 days of delay, due to bad weather. Most of the battle scenes were filmed a year earlier in the summer months in sweltering heat.
Before filming 16,000 Soviet troops, including 14,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry troops were used and in addition there were 50 circus stunt riders from around the world. It was said that the director Sergei Bondarchuk was in command of the seventh largest army in the world.
With these troops they had to be trained in 1815 drill and battle formations as well as using sabres, bayonets and handling the cannons. 2,000 of the men were taught to load and fire muskets.

It was a family night out for me and after the film we even went and had a Wimpy meal after the showing at Leicester Square. (No McDonalds in them days)

This is the film that put me firmly into the wargaming world. Before the film “Waterloo” hit the big screen, Airfix had already started making the Waterloo series back in 1969 starting with the Highlanders and French Cuirassiers sets. No other plastic company made any Napoleonic sets then. More sets were to follow but then in 1979 it all came to an abrupt end, which was a great shame but today many plastic companies are making Napoleonic figures and may they continue to do so.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Happy Waterloo Day

Yes, Happy Waterloo 200 Day and whatever you are doing to mark this occasion I hope that it all goes well for you.
But what a shame that the plastic figure company’s never really made it all that special, after all it’s going to be a long time for 300 which none of us will be around to celebrate.
Airfix seem to be one of two that have achieved this. They have once again brought out the Famous Farm House with all of the Airfix figures that they made for the Waterloo series with more paints added to the set price £39.99. Next follows the Italeri – Anniversary Box “Battle at La Haye Sainte” Farm House with four boxes of figures to go with the first set No 6111 as seen in our last post. Revell could of done better as they have released their 1/72nd Set Battle of Waterloo 1815 with 107 figures which contain the old British Life Guards, Prussian Infantry and the French Old Guard boxes priced at £17.99 I have found this in a toy shop for £15.99. No New figures at all from all three.
My hope had been on HaT Industries to come up with the goods with the figures that we needed to extend our armies. They had the French Elites in Greatcoats, plus French Infantry with commands sets already on their list to do and anything else that was in the pipe line, like the Belgian/Dutch Carabiniers although we have only seen the box artwork but no line drawings or roughs for this set.
So I feel that a great opportunity has been missed by these companies to celebrate one of our biggest battles in our history and I do feel a bit let down by them. Still we can only hope that they will appear sometime in the future.

What have I been up to? Well how time has flown by once again and I have still not finished off my French Carabiniers yet. I have done a bit of reading though. I have now brought a book by Tim Clayton called “WATERLOO” This was a bargain at only £4 reduced from £10.99 pence.
So time to celebrate the Battle that has kept me on the edge of my seat for a hell of a long time, as I do not have the room to set out a table to fight the great battle  in my house, it’s time to get the DVD out and watch the battle once again on my TV. (It’s a shame that they have not released this in its complete four hours as well)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Up Date On Italeri Anniversary Waterloo Set

Here is the box artwork for the Italeri – Anniversary Box “Battle at La Haye Sainte” Farm House. There is still no release date but they do confirm the four boxes of figures to go with the first set No 6111.
They are the French Old Guard Artillery No 6135, French Infantry No 6002, British Infantry No 6095 and box No 6083 of the 95th. Also here is the farm house laid out in full after you have collected the four parts of the set and very nice it looks too.

Friday, 20 March 2015

What a Fantasic Surprise!

I had a look yesterday at some of the plastic companies to see if there is any news on any new set of figures for the 200th anniversary of Waterloo and guess what? Italeri are proposing a special series dedicated to Waterloo with an Anniversary Box in April.
But even better is that they are going to celebrate Waterloo 1815-2015 with this box set number 6111 containing a part reproduction of the famous farm, “La Haye Saint” in MDF form in 1/72 scale. The first set will be containing the farm house, wall and gate and for the first time we will see the gardener’s cottage which Airfix left off their farm house. It will also contain 4 boxes of figures. Set 6066 French Infantry, 6031 Imperial Guard Artillery, 6095 British Infantry and 6083 British 95th Regiment.
All Pictures from Italeri Web Site 

The next set is number 6175 and that will be the barn and again four sets of figures which are not known at this time. 
Set number 6176 will be the stables and another four sets of figures.
This is fantastic news but there is no price set as of yet and I just can not wait to see these. This set/kit is a lot better than the old Airfix plastic farm house but it has been with us for a hell of a long time now, so this is quite exciting news from Italeri. The farm house will be easy to assemble and to paint. It’s been a long time since Italeri brought out any Waterloo figures as the last set was number 6136 Scots Infantry in 2010. We hope that there are more surprises out there for us Waterloo fans.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Five Years In The Making


I have two things to celebrate on this post. First its congratulations to me for I have now finished painting up my Airfix Prussian Landwehr Infantry last Tuesday night. The regiment is the 2/3rd Elba and I have painted a total 47 of the 48 in the box as I did not want two flags in the regiment. It has taken me five years to complete this regiment. The good news is that I have now painted a total of 35 figures this year and at the moment it looks like it could be a fantastic year for me in the painting department.
Second thing to celebrate is that I have now had well over 13,000 hits on my wargaming blog and I would like to thank each and every one of you who have taken a look.
As I said in the last post that I will finish off some that I have started to paint but have never finished them, some going way back to 2005.  The race is on to finish as much as I can before the deadline of 18th June and maybe think about what next to paint while finishing the rest off.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

More Recruits for the Prussian Army


I have now managed to finish my third batch of Airfix Prussian Landwehr Infantry which I completed last Tuesday night. The regiment is the 2/3rd Elba and I have now painted a total 24 figures of these this year (36 now completed). The fourth and final batch are also well under way and hope to have these finished by the middle of next week.

I don’t know if you have, but I do have a couple of regiments that I started to paint and did not finish for various reasons, so I think it’s about time that these were completed before I start thinking about the next regiment to paint.


Saturday, 24 January 2015

First Painted Figures of the year!

Last night I managed to finish off my second batch of Airfix Prussian Landwehr Infantry that I started painting way back in 2010. If you follow this blog, then you will know that I have not painted much in over two years. Sorry to say that the pictures are not all that good but they do give you a bit of an idea of how they look.

The good news is that I am very much back in the saddle and the next batch is well under way.
The regiment is the 2/3rd Elba and I am very pleased in how these have turned out after such a long time away from painting. So my painted total for 2015 stands at just 12 figures (although I have painted and completed the French Carabineers horses last year. Riders to follow)


Sunday, 11 January 2015

New Napoleonic Sets Needed for Waterloo 200

I thought that I might take a look at what’s going on with any of the plastic companies to mark the bicentenary for Waterloo.
Well to date I have seen two. The first comes from Revell’s with the Battle of Waterloo 200th Anniversary Set No RV 2450. Although this set is coming out in March, there does not seem to be anything on their web site to say what is in the box. We can only guess that it will be their old sets British Life Guards, French Old Guard and the Prussian Infantry. But nice to see a new gift set on offer?

The next is no surprise from Airfix with their old Waterloo farm set now called Battle of Waterloo 1815-2015 Gift Set. They do not say when this is available but you can pre-order the set on their web site. The price has gone up from £35 to just under £40 this time round. No new figures in the set so we have the same old favourites. It’s a shame that Airfix have not made any new Napoleonic to add to their old list but we can only hope that they do.

The Company that I am waiting for is Hat. They did not do many new sets last year and I hope that they will bring out some new sets that are long waited for very soon.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Bicentenary Waterloo Medal 1815-2015

Picture of the medal from their site
In 1815 the Duke of Wellington proposed that everyone who fought in the British Army at Waterloo should be honoured with a medal, and 37,500 Campaign medals were originally made. 

To celebrate the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo, The Royal London Mint have minted a solid bronze medal 36 mm in diameter  to remember that famous battle 200 years ago this year. A total of 500,000 are to be minted and only one per household may be sold.  

For a price of £2.95 plus £2.50 for P + P you will receive an official Waterloo 200 Medal folder containing the Certificate of Authenticity from the Worchester Medal Service.
The folder provides you with important Historical Background Information of the Battle of Waterloo and your very own Commemorative Waterloo Campaign Medal safe and elegantly. 

I have purchased one of these and it will be the nearest thing that I will ever get to owning my own Waterloo Medal. It’s a shame that it does not come with the Waterloo ribbon but for £5.45 pence I hope it’s going to be a good item to own even though they say it's "Free"!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year and over 12, 000 Hits!

A Very Happy New Year to all who follow my blog.
I had one related wargaming item at Christmas to add to my book self and that was the “WATERLOO” by Bernard Cornwell. Now I have had no time to start reading this book but I have had a quick flick through to see what this fantastic book has to offer and it looks very good. Loads of pictures and maps to look at. I hope to start reading this book soon, so look out for the review.

 I have also seen that just before New Year that I have had a total of 12,118 hits. If you are just one of these who takes a look now and then, I would like to thank each and every one of you and hope that you will continue to look here. why not become a follower and receive any updates via e-mail before any one else.