Monday 18 March 2019

The Weekly Sitrep....Number 20

It has been a very positive week for your truly, with lots of forward movement in various directions.

A dent has been made in the late 17th/18 century lead mountain as the first units sped off to their new homes. There has been a lot of interest in elements of the collection and so I will need to discuss next steps with Bill upon his return from the US of A. Nothing serious, just a couple of ideas to think about.

Thus far most of the Minifigs component of the collection covers the Marlburian period - hardly surprising really, when you consider that I have yet to tackle the Seven Years war! - which I am rather pleased about. Given that my early 18th century Balkanesque project is set 'twixt 1700 to 1720 this is really handy. In fact, I may even be in a position to properly organise the armies for this so that I can see what I need to add to the collection from Caliver Books.

Work on sorting out the Marlburian elements of Eric's collection is entering its final stages and so by next weekend I should be ready to draw up detailed lists of what there is which I will distribute accordingly.

As it stands at present the models that are in most demand from the collection are Front Rank, Foundry and Dixon. Essex Miniatures seem to be rather 'Meh' from the gamers I  have spoken to. As for the earlier ranges - including Hinchliffe - there has been little interest thus far.

I also made a rather unexpected discovery in one of the boxes marked '1685 Sedgemoor Armies'. I opened the box expecting to see serried ranks of pikes and mobs of peasants when in fact the box contained some 1:1200 rather battered (and non-salvageable) dockyard fixtures and two long boxes marked 'Clydeside'. Between the two boxes there contained two each of the following 1:1200th scale warships - HMS Invincible (the WW1 battle cruiser), SMS Helgoland and SMS Konig. these are unpainted and I have no idea of the manufacturer as yet. I will take some pictures and these will form the subject of a later post.

I had been after a copy of the old Avalon Hill game Wooden Ships and Iron Men for ages so I was really to picked up an unpunched copy (and with two control pads) at Skirmish yesterday. There is a cunning plan associated with this as although the game and the original miniatures rules it was based upon really cover the period from the American Revolution to the Napoleonic Wars, I am looking to make use of them for the Balkanesque project. There was a number of small scale naval actions between the Turks and the Venetians - mainly as a result of the attempted interdiction of supply routes - that would be very game able and involving not only the usual ships of the line but also a host of smaller vessels including galleys and similar. Of course ships of the period in question were not quite as efficient as the later vessels but I reckon extending the tactics and ship types associated with the earlier Dutch Wars would probably be a good base to work up from. In any event I shall consult my local naval oracle in such matters - the redoubtable Mr Fox - as I am sure he will have knowledge about such things!

Staying with the naval theme I also sorted out the 1:2400th scale WW1 ships for the 'Not Quite Madasahatta' project. I needed to add a couple of models from Tumbling Dice (duly ordered and received) and upon enquiring had the welcome news from Paul Sulley that at long last the French fleet was nearing completion. It will be rather large in terms of the range of models. He also mentioned that ideally he wants to have all the pre 1914 models completed by the end of the year.

I have always a soft spot for the French Navy of the period and many years ago owned a 1:3000th fleet that regularly used to cause the Austrian Navy of Mr Fox to have some, shall we say, exciting and  interesting moments....

It all changed though when he wheeled out the Italians! 'The Devil at the Helm' was the rules we used - very detailed and the more modern the ships became the longer the games took to fight. Good fun though.

The library has also benefited from some new additions but these will form a separate post.

Finally, I had a very helpful and informative chat with Bob Cordery at Skirmish about the whole self-publishing thing which have aided my thought processes immeasurably. Many thanks once again Bob.

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