|Rain in Lincolnshire - just like my last day|
I travelled in my van, which is actually quite a friendly sort of vehicle - high seating position (and thus a great view), surprisingly comfortable, and it allows me to stooge along steadily, without anyone feeling obliged to cut me up or out-drag me at the traffic lights. As the time approached for my journey, I had been watching the weather forecasts nervously, but my trek down was all in bright sunshine - no problems at all.
In Essex I had the great pleasure of actually meeting DC - he of the Wargaming Odyssey blog. David and I have been on email terms for some years, and have even spoken on the steam telephone, but the old face-to-face bit was a new departure. David was just as jovial and enthusiastic in person as I had expected, and I must express my deep appreciation for his time and for his looking after me during my visit. We had a lot of interesting conversations during my day-and-a-bit in Essex - I got to see his famed man-cave, which is indeed a great honour, and I learned a lot about wargaming. Excellent all round.
Oh yes - the soldiers. I can't really say an awful lot about them at the moment, not least because I am still finding out the details of what I obtained. I bought a load of very old Napoleonic figures, many of which, I understand, were involved in the 1965 "refight" of Waterloo, at the Duke of York's Headquarters. The first job I have (and it's a big one) is to sort them into types, makes and units - they have been stored in some very dilapidated old boxes for a great many years, and have got a bit mixed up as the current owner (and DC) worked on identifying and listing what was there.
After two pretty solid days of effort, I am starting to get the idea of what is here. Some of these can probably be freshened up and rebased, and could be available for active service fairly quickly - some may require rather more work, and some may just go in the spares box for a while, but Goya has been talking of having a bash at Waterloo sometime soon - these should certainly help to fill some gaps!
I'll leave it at that for now, with some photos showing the inevitable chaos which is involved in opening up the boxes and trying to sort things out. I must say that I would like to know a lot more about the 1965 Waterloo game - I'm trying to get some extra information about that. If anyone knows of any write-ups, or has any personal knowledge of the event, I'd be very grateful if you could get in touch. I can certainly state that Hinton Hunt castings from circa 1965 appear to be cleaner and nicer than any I have seen. There are also some very early (small) Lammings, and a number of figures I have never seen before - no idea of the manufacturers - I may put up some more photos later on.
|This is the mess in the dining room starting to abate a little - some of the figures are already sorted into boxes, and I have trays and all sorts of containers on all horizontal surfaces|
|This looks like French foot artillery in the warm water bath, soaking the bases off|
|Various Guard artillery figures, foot dragoons, miscellaneous generals and staff|
|Another tray - assorted cavalry - including enough cuirassiers for a very serious charge indeed|
|This looks like a heap of French line infantry to me...|
|Dragoons of different nationalities, RHG, Guard sapeurs...|
|Some highlanders in this lot...|
|A very serious plaque to commemorate the fact that Thomas Paine was very briefly associated with Alford. I am hoping that there will be a plaque one day to say that I had my dinner in the Half Moon Hotel one evening.|
|Mind you, one of the Alford street names suggests that they may be familiar with my blog already|