Sunday 17 March 2019

I have been to....Skirmish Toy Soldier and Wargames Show

Once again Sidcup in Kent saw the biannual Skirmish Toy Soldier and Wargames show held at the Sidcup and Chislehurst Grammar School. I always like this show as it is quite small, has a reasonable selection of trade (although not as good as in recent years), a pretty good Bring and Buy (again, not as good as in recent years) with a nice range of wargames to look at. This spring the theme was the Sudan so there were four games devoted to the same and with rules ranging from The Men Who would be Kings to Sharp Practice as well as a quite superb old school 54mm scale action.

I met up with Big Lee, Postie, Clint and Bob Cordery which is always a pleasure and as ever we discussed our various projects and how things were progressing (or not). I managed to take a modest selection of pictures, so without further ado....

The first picture from the outstanding 54mm Sudan game (based on Tel El Kebir) organised by that very nice chap Andrew Stevenson, proprietor of Replica Metal Soldiers  and Models - able assisted by one of the leading lights in the toy soldier world, none other than James Opie. The figures are of course British infantry.

The Rifles.

Egyptian Infantry.

The Egyptian position. Note the artillery deployed at the apex of the trench line.

The thin red line preparing to advance.

Egyptian Artillery deployed at the ready.

Egyptian cavalry in reserve and busy guarding the Fez in the background.

Another view of the Egyptian position. I am unsure if the gentleman in the background is at prayer or tying his shoelaces....

The ‘khaki’ portion of the army of Her Majesty - including some stout fellows representing the ‘Jewel in the Crown’

British artillery or Woolwich Arsenal’s finest....

Indian Cavalry

Andrew Stevenson and James Opie, well known toy soldier expert and author of a number of books devoted to the same - the squint of the latter was no doubt due to some dastardly Egyptian plot to ensure that the British would be advancing into the sun. For the record I would like to extend my warmest thanks to both gentlemen for taking the time to talk to me whilst I wandered about taking pictures.

Another Sudan game organised by Rainham Wargames Club (with Clint in the background). No prizes for guessing the rules being used!

Maidstone Wargames club with a Sharp Practise Sudan game

Skirmish Wargames Presents....What a Carry On Up The Nile! 28mm and check out the paddle steamer....

Described as being ‘Action at Skur-El-Mish - Somewhere in the Sudan 1884’ the steamer used for this originated from an antique shop and received rather a lot of TLC to convert it to the above. Quite superb!

First of all I should apologise for the quality of the pictures as these were all taken on my phone and the bright sunshine wreaked havoc with them. I hope that they have given you a good idea of what the show was like though and of course, there was a little retail therapy....

A real blast from the past - unpunched and with two ship control pads rather than just the one. This is the board game version of my favourite set of ‘wind and water’ naval wargame rules called Ship of the Line by the late S. Craig Taylor. The board game uses hexes whilst the original rules used squares.

Wooden Ships and Iron Men is one of my favourite board games and ‘back in the day’ I played this many time along with the miniatures version it was based on. I have a cunning plan to make use of either 1:2400th scale or even 1:4800th scale models to go with this system - being a modelling philistine there is little or no chance of me emulating the wonderful models of Mr Fox in 1:1200th so the smaller models will at least have a fighting chance of seeing the light of day. Suffice it to say that my cunning plan with the above dovetails in with the 1700 to 1720 Balkanesque Minifigs project....

As mentioned earlier in the post, I am rather fond of this show and hope that it long continues although it seemed that the number of attendees and of the trade was down on previous years. It is not a pure wargames show as such but is worth attending all the same.

All in all I could think of worse ways to spend a Sunday morning.


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Sounds a Grand Day Out!

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

It is a great little show and only around 30 minutes from where I live so is always a handy one for me. I usually manage to spend some money in one form or another!

All the best,


BigLee said...

Good to see you at the show and catch up. I always spend more time chatting with friends than I do at the games or the traders. That 54mm Sudan setup was spectacular and a treat to look at. If I can remortgage the house I might be able to afford a couple of armies like that.

David Crook said...

Hi Lee,

It is always a pleasure being around the Rejects - even when in depleted strength! Seriously though, it is great to catch up with friends at shows and in this case you actually have the space to be able to both talk and think!

Good shout about the 54mm Sudan game although you could always go down the Armies in Plastic route as they have a pretty good range for the Sudan.

Consider that a small gauntlet!

All the best,


Unknown said...

Sun in Britain? In March?

David Crook said...

Hi Scott,

A rare phenomena for sure - but a welcome one (except when trying to take pictures that is!).

All the best,