A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Friday, 8 May 2015

Foot Guards - More is Better


3rd Foot Guards
I recently obtained via eBay some interim-period Minature Figurines British infantry (poses BN26 & 27) which were a good match - including painting style - for my two battalions of Foot Guards, so I set about taking the opportunity to increase the size of these battalions by some 50% - something I have had a fancy for since not long after I painted up the original units (circa 1973?). I had some adventures with varnish incompatibility, and neither the castings nor the paint job will win any prizes, but this is what my Old School units look like, and it's nice to achieve a low-priority objective.

Martin P asked me for some pics of the enlarged units, and I needed to take some for my in-house catalogue system anyway, so here they are - veterans of my wargames going back a great many years, they have been handled and deployed by a good few friends who are no longer with us, and who would probably have been delighted to have the extra 2 bases available for each battalion from time to time. The command figures are - some of them, anyway - later imports from other manufacturers. I don't know where the guys in the last two rows have been this last 40-odd years, but they fit right in.

I am tired this morning, like a great many Brits, having sat up late watching the General Election coverage on TV. I have nothing at all to say about the results, but, having lived through the build-up over the last few weeks, wondering what on earth ever happened to old fashioned concepts like truth and humility, I am reminded that recently I came upon a favourite old quotation (I was, of course, looking for something else at the time...), and somehow it strikes a chord:

"We look on past ages with condescension, as a mere preparation for us... but what if we are a mere after-glow of them?"

- J.G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur


  1. Splendid looking Guards - nice to see some of your Brits!

    My own Mrs S predicted the results south of the border a few weeks ago with uncanny accuracy. I'm now trying to get her a job as a political analyst as the professionals are obviously not up to the job!

    As for your side of the border...

    1. Poll forecasting is obviously on a par with modern weather forecasting - how could they all be so wrong? [I have a private theory that these studies are handicapped by (1) choice of unrepresentative sample areas (2) an unconscious following of a preconception - i.e. have an idea and then capture data to fit it].

      What the blazes happens next is anyone's guess - the map seems to be blue at the bottom, red in the middle and orange at the top - not sure democracy is supposed to work on a geograhical split like that. What next? - complete constitutional fragmentation of the Union on regional lines? a Very British Civil War?

      One thing is for sure, if Cameron is still intending to take us out of Europe, the non-blue bits won't want to go. I for one do not wish to be associated with any entity which includes the Hon John Redwood and his pals in its ranks, and there will be a lot of unhappiness all round generally.

      Milliband, ultimately, was a disaster - his end wasn't nearly as comical as i thought it would be. Putting a left-wing scholar with no charisma at all in charge of the Labour party has echoes of Michael Foot. Did the party have a secret death wish?

      I wish us all a great deal of luck. I fear we may need it.

    2. I regret to say that Stryker sent a further comment, and I accidentally deleted, which serves me right for trying to Publish using my ****ing iPhone. Sorry, Ian!

      What he said was:

      Stryker has left a new comment on your post "Foot Guards - More is Better":

      Personally I'm optomistic that an EU referendum will produce a big majority wanting to stay in. It's clear that there are a significant number of people who are not very vocal on issues but will swing votes against the 'popular' opinion - eg Scots staying in the Union, Tories staying in government and (I believe) UK staying in the EU.

      However the wargaming civil war options would be interesting for any modern period wargame buffs!

    3. Cameron does not wish to take us out of Europe. He wishes there to be a referundum which will put oressure on Bripusseos to reform and, if there is a majority for staying in, then to silence the anti Europeans in his own party.

    4. Fair enough - it seems that Cameron himself does not wish to leave the EU, but I'm not clear what his party line is post-Coalition. Since the CBI seemed to be firming up on a pro-European stance before the election (Redwood's "sanctions" notwithstanding), and since there is talk of some British firms relocating if we leave, I am hopeful that a referendum might work in that way.

  2. My main man Rod emailed - why all the long faces? - not all the results were bad last night, he says - Hull Kingston Rovers beat Wakefield 54-6 for a start...

  3. More IS better and your guardsmen are handsomely elegant.
    Noticing the different angle of attack of the Coldstream and 3rd FG. Do the Coldstream drift left in order to avoid back stabbing the unit in their front?

    1. It's pretty close to that explanation - the Coldstreams are Minifigs BN26, which holds the musket almost horizontal - the only way to get these fellows to stand close behind each other is to adopt this oblique order - it takes years of training to get them to do this.

      The other unit is BN27, which is more of a "high port" stance, and these guys will stand square behind each other quite happily. I just checked the old MF catalogue listing, and BN26/BN27 are described as "On guard" and "advancing" respectively.

  4. Those Minifig figures look like 2nd generation chappies, judging by the style of bayonet. Nice figures: I have a few in my French army (some 1st generation Miniofigs, too, but mostly 3rd G Minifigs, and several of other manufactures). A fine looking practical war games unit you have there!

    1. Morning Archduke - thank you. My nomenclature for the various MF ranges is probably my own, but I've been using it for so long that I now inflict it on other people. There are some real experts on this subject, so I keep my head below the parapet - the original 20mm (some of which were called Alberken and some of which may or may not have looked a bit like Hinton Hunt...) are always of interest to me because the size is a decent match for my armies; as I understand it these were followed by the Higgs-mastered S-Range, which are mostly unsuitable for me because of the general build, with spindly legs and the big hats (though i use a great many S-Range Spaniards in my 1812 PW army), then what i call the "Intermediate" range, which were better proportioned than the S-Range in many cases (I use a lot of British artillerymen and some infantry from this period), and then - up to the present day - the rather hefty fellows with the statuesque (though deformed) horses, which privately i refer to as SAMFs. These guys in the photos are the Intermediate series - no S suffix on the catalogue numbers.

      The bayonets are distinctive - I have never liked them much, but they are kind of a tradition, and they don't break much!

  5. Great looking troops, ebay does have its uses! As for the election, the least said the better! Groooooooan!