Wednesday, 18 May 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Just like all good wargamers, I pride myself in my ability to remain focused and not to be distracted by the latest shiny idea that pops randomly into my head...usually after reading a book or watching a film and thinking, "I really need to start a new project based around xxxx...".  You can guess where this is going....

I've actually been sort of mulling this one over for some time for once and not simply plunging headlong into a frenzy of collecting figures.  I've always had an interest in Colonial Wargaming (doesn't always sit comfortably with my trendy lefty persona but I can always ensure the natives throw off the yoke of Imperialist oppression,etc).  I don't have much in the way of armies for this period... a 6mm British and Zulu collection and some Darkest Africa figures is about it... hold that thought for a moment...

Now, some time ago I came across some 54mm (1/32) figures and was smitten...these clearly struck a nostalgic note and reminded me of happy days maltreating Airfix WW2 figures when I was a wean.  I have been doing some digging on t'Internet and came across the Armies In Plastic range which is pretty extensive and look very nice... link

Although my childhood memories were all about Airfix Commandos, Eigth Army and Afrika Korps, I was drawn to the AiP Colonial range ( all comes together in the end!).  AiP have a wide range of figures ranging from Napoleonics through to modern with a pretty decent range of late 19th C figures...Sudan, Northwest Frontier, Boer War and Boxer.  I was particularly drawn to the Northwest Frontier range.  I'm guessing my inspiration comes from a variety of sources

In no particular order these include...Flashman, the films Northwest Frontier and The Man Who Would be King,  Peter Hopkirk's excellent book The Great Game, assorted bits by Kipling and, slightly out of period, the comic strip Wolf of Kabul...

Image result for wolf of kabul
I need to find a figure armed with a 'Clicky Ba'...
 and of course...

Image result for carry on up the khyber

With that in mind I ordered a couple of boxes from Ebay and was immediately much so that I ventured out on Saturday to Twickenham and the Plastic Warrior Show.  Now I know that wargaming is regarded as an 'unusual' hobby by those that we are brave enough to confide in, but the world of plastic toy soldiers seems a very strange place indeed.  The show was held in a large room adjoining a local pub near Twickenham (The Winning Post at Whitton) and consisted of lots of men rummaging through boxes of toy far not so different from a wargamers show I guess.  But the contents of the boxes were strange to say the least, ranging from what appeared to be broken Cowboys from my childhood for £1 or so, to even more chipped and broken figures selling for £10 and upwards!  People were frantically rummaging in the tubs, looking for that 'special' soldier, or cowboy, or cow...

To be fair our hobby must look equally baffling from the outside so I guess I'm the last person who should be pointing at others and mocking...

There were practically no traders selling new figures: almost everything was secondhand and pretty beat up, in fact the general rule seemed to be, the more beat up the figure, the higher the price: but luckily there was one stall... Steve Weston's Toy Soldiers... selling Armies in Plastic boxes.  I decided, somewhat rashly, that if I was going to dabble in a new project I may as well do it big time so I'm now the owner of several more boxes...some cavalry and a gun seemed like useful additions.  Finally I decided that if I'm going to take on the challenge of painting in a new scale, then I may as well throw in some Highlanders and hard can it be!!

So there we have it...yet again I've blundered into a new period (and a new scale)!  More updates shortly as I make a start on painting.


  1. SHall look forward to following your adventures in the far-flung corners of the British Empire!

  2. Good luck with the new project! And if you need it, I have some tartan paint that I can let you have at a bargain price ....


    1. Tartan paint...that's exactly what I need!!

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  4. Not heard of Armies in Plastic before. You will have to bring one or two along to the Shed!

  5. Welcome to the dark side and joining Anthony and I in 54mm Northwest Frontier....

    1. It's definitely a slippery slope!

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  6. The Wolf of Kabul, now there's a trip down memory lane along with the likes of Wilson and George Braddock. Good luck with the new venture.

  7. Another venture, if only us wargamers could stop reading/watching/thinking we might just get one project complete.
    Looking forward to seeing the new stuff appear on the table soon.