Friday, September 15, 2017

A Good Haul of Books.


My wife and I took a day off from what seems like perpetual house-hunting to run some errands, one of which was a stop off at our excellent local library. I'd forgotten this month marks their annual surplus books sale, so we couldn't resist taking a look at what's on offer and... I found these. The Time-Life books Epic of Flight: The Giant Airships, full of information and nice illustrations about that noblest of aircraft; two issues of Model Railroader from 2009 and 2013, with useful info on how to model buildings; and the star of this little show - Yep, Donald Featherstone's Wargaming Airborne Operations, published in the UK way back in 1977, although this is the American edition dated 1979.


I was looking along a row of books stacked under one of the tables when I spotted the edge of the model paratrooper illustration peeping out. Call it long-ingrained pattern recognition, but I knew at once I was onto something hobby-related. I drew it out and - voila! This is one of those Featherstone books I'd always heard of but had never seen, and now I own it! (Cue manic cackle...)

Eben Emael under assault.
It's in excellent condition. Aside from rules governing airborne operations on the tabletop, it contains a potted history of airborne forces, both paratroops and glider-borne, notes on tactics, resupply logistics, and accounts of the great airborne operations of WW2, Crete and Market Garden.

There are plenty of photos of games in progress, along with maps and diagrams. Some of the figures and models depicted look rather dated now in this Golden Age of ours, but this book has a heck of a lot of use for the gamer interested in the topic. I've got a few of The Don's books, and this is a worthy addition to the set.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Pendraken announces new Indian Mutiny range.

The Storming of Jhansi.

Those lovely chaps at Pendraken Miniatures have announced the master list for an upcoming Indian Mutiny range. This is a period I've had an interest in for some time, but never got around to it as other periods demanded attention. The release date is sometime in 2018, hopefully before Salute. 


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Assorted musings


This Labor Day weekend has put a temporary halt to our (so far) fruitless search for a new home. We've seen and discounted several places for various reasons (A "Crazy cat lady's" former abode stinks - er, sticks - in the mind). It's not entirely beyond the bounds of possibility that we may look to return to the UK, or possibly head for Ireland. International moving's a whole different set of complications, but we'll see.

In the meantime I'm catching up with my reading and musing on different wargaming periods. Our excellent local library has a copy of Nick Lloyd's book Passchendaele: The Lost Victory of WW1.


This is the centenary year of the terrible months-long battle, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, which lasted from July to November 1917. It's a battle I've heard about often but have never really studied until now. I've reached the point where planning for the offensive has begun under the command of General Gough, GOC Fifth Army. Apparently this army had a reputation within the BEF for being lax in pre-battle planning, so even at this stage of the narrative things aren't looking good. Lloyd's book is a good read. It's enough to tempt me into contemplating WW1 gaming, perhaps using Pendraken Miniatures 10mm range. For those interested in seeing how a master does it, take a look at the incomparable Sidney Roundwood's blog.

Another little gem came up unexpectedly on the AVBCW Facebook page. A gamer is asking about suitable 28mm vehicles to use in this delightfully daft conflict, and another member posted this suggestion...


It's a First Corps (Curteys Miniatures) resin/white metal four-wheel speedster from their 20th Century Follies range, and it looks lovely! Some time ago I searched for a similar vehicle for a Pulp game idea I had, but didn't find anything suitable. I did see an example of the speedster painted up on the Lead Adventure forum, but couldn't pinpoint the manufacturer. Now, when I'm not looking, it pops up. Go figure.

Once I'm in a position to do so, my gaming priority really is to complete the collections I already have. The Dux Britanniarum set up needs the Saxons to oppose the Romano-British. I have a handful of foot regiments, a cavalry regiment, dragoons and perhaps another gun apiece to complete the 10mm ECW forces.

Apart from the temptation to start a Great War collection (early or late? That is the question) I've also been tempted to start an Indian Mutiny collection. Dixon's Miniatures produce a nice-looking range in 15mm. Their 'personnel carrier' elephant is just darlin'. But - Pendraken has an Indian Mutiny range on the drawing board, and I believe the figures may make an appearance next year.

I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens. 

 

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