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

Sunday, 21 February 2016

A Weekend Miscellany...

The Gothenburg, Prestonpans
First thing to note is that I found some missing photos from Wednesday's ECW game - nothing startling, but I'll tack a few on the end of this post. It seems that my camera had stored some of them in a folder I didn't know was there...

On Saturday I drove through to Prestonpans (yes - that Prestonpans), which is just down the road from here, to attend the Scottish Battlefields Wargames Show, which was staged upstairs in the Gothenburg pub. I was there early, since there had been concern that the small venue and the lack of parking space might by a problem - in fact, unless it picked up later, the attendance may have been a bit disappointing. Nice little show - there were a number of appropriately themed games, including some in which visitors might take part. I think there were about 7 trade stands, and maybe the same number of demonstrations, so there was a pleasant intimacy about the proceedings.

I liked this 10mm version of Flodden, presented by the Glasgow Wargames people, who
 - as always - were affable and enthusiastic and patiently informative

Some of the 10mm unsung heroes of Flodden
It was good to get a chance to speak to Graham Cummings, who was there selling his wonderful Crann Tara miniatures range (wow - these are seriously beautiful figures), and I was also very impressed by a new, Edinburgh-based venture, Supreme Littleness, which is Michael Scott's laser-cut MDF service. I've been sort of half-looking at MDF buildings for a while, and though they get quite a good press, I have not been convinced. Well, I think I am now. Michael does all sorts of interesting fortifications and buildings, in various scales down to 3mm - I was surprised at the scope really. He was inviting suggestions for new products and expansions to his range, and I intend to get back to him with some requests for 15mm scale earthworks, which he doesn't do at the moment. Here's my picture of some of the bits and pieces - from bases and game markers to medieval towers - which he had on show. I recommend a squint at his website (linked above). The 3mm village pieces are especially good.

Supreme Littleness - for those who have yet to be convinced about MDF...
It was also good to meet up with my shadowy friend Goya - I knew he was arriving when his security men and handlers came in to check that the CCTV was switched off. He brought along some impressive examples of his painting and conversion work to show me, and - just to give a glimpse of how the other half lives - I learned that he has found that the wire from champagne corks is perfect for fabricating replacement bayonets and sword blades in 20mm scale. The important point here is that Goya is teetotal - we may picture him ordering cases of Bollinger, so that he can pour the evil stuff down the sink and furnish enough sabre blades for his light dragoons project. Now that, you have to admit, is classy.

I took very few photos in Prestonpans, not least because I wasn't really speaking to my camera at the time, my confidence having been shaken somewhat by Wednesday's problems.

I got home to find that the postie had delivered my last two fortress components - a couple more gates, on which I have now daubed paint in the house style, so that they may take their place in the FORTS box.

One on the left is from JR Miniatures, the other is by Kallistra
And, finally, some more pics from Wednesday evening...

The Covenanters get a pretty clear run at the hill, if they can just get through that
pesky stream...

...and the capture of East Boldon didn't take long - more wet feet

General view, from the Royalist side, with the Scots getting their assault organised

Last effort from the King's horse, with Sir Chas Lucas about to be laid low for his trouble

Another general view, Scots on the left, just before the end


  1. That looks like a great little show...but what an amazing piece of architecture that pub is. Just checked their website too...looks like a good pub.

    1. A very good pub - I seldom go to Prestonpans, but the "Goth" is an institution. The Gothenburg system of setting up licensed premises is interesting - I am shaky on the details, but the movement comes from Sweden, where they were once (1860s) alarmed by statistics on consumption of alcohol. The Gothenburg model restricted (or rather, controlled) sales of alcohol, and ploughed profits back into libraries and other worthwhile institutions. Since the Church of Scotland and the Scots coal mine owners were hostile to excess drinking, Gothenburg model pubs appeared all over the Scottish coalfield areas - especially in Fife. As the years passed the Goths have mostly disappeared, but there are still a few left.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothenburg_Public_House_System is worth a read, I think.

  2. Well Sir, it was a pleasure meeting you and thank you for the comments re.the figure range. The show ticked over all day and the organisers were certainly pleased with the numbers.
    In many ways it took me back to the early 70's and the 'club' shows. As you say it had a degree of intimacy and enthusiasm that is lacking in some of the larger shows and gave us small traders a chance to be on show.
    I thought the venue was superb, and I picked up that they are trying to get the community to buy the place as it may be up for sale next year. It would be a sad loss if it were to disappear under some modernisation programme..

    Hope we can meet again would love to talk more about the rules and your collection.

    1. Hi Graham - I'm glad the show seems to have gone well - I know from looking at their blog that a lot of work went into it. As you say, it had an unusually relaxed feel - it's many years since I attended a show where you could hear yourself speak and there was time to watch a game develop without worrying about missing out on something else.

      My comments on the Crann Tara range are heartfelt - I've seen photos, but the reality of the painted figures is breathtaking - you must be delighted with them. Again, my compliments.

      Shows are a great humbler - there's always interesting stuff to look at, new ideas, but there's also the constant reminder that the average standard of club figure collections is frighteningly good - I could never paint like that, ever, and am always aware that I'm really just a fringe player!

      Till our paths cross again... are you going to be at Carronade in May? I realise the Falkirk guys were there on Saturday, so I imagine deals are being struck!

      Best regards - Tony

    2. Tony
      I shall be at Falkirk no problem :)

  3. I hesitate to suggest that other blogs are available, but 'Battleshed Diaries' has a decent account and some nice pictures, and he seems to have enjoyed the day.
    Your ECW game looks great too, why not take one to next year's show?

    1. Good shout David! - an excellent write up in that blog post - I even appear in one of the photos (I am the old geezer in the grey baseball cap, in centre background in pic #3). Don't tell my mum you saw me there - she thinks I'm in jail.