Sunday, 8 August 2010

Friedland 1807 part1

On Saturday my brother David, my young nephews David Jnr, Ian and myself headed over to Edinburgh for the annual Claymore show. It was the second year in their new venue and like last year it was a cracking event. I didn't intent to buy much as I am pretty much organised on what I would like to paint for say the next 200-250 years! however there was loads of great stuff on offer and I picked up some nice items.

The lads from Falkirk wargames club (Billy, Gary, Peter and Robert) were re-fighting a section of the Friedland battlefield from 1807 so I took the opportunity to take some pics of the action.

2 views across the battlefield from behind the French left wing

And it looked excellent!

Billy S was in control of the French left

With our club closed for the summer and the usual holiday distractions my painting ground to a halt and I needed a few volts of inspiration shot through me and this display did the trick!

The vast majority of the figures on show were 15mm AB's and the quality of painting was great.

(if the guys would have wondered off I could have quite happily sat for a couple of hours looking through all the figures on the table, yes I am that sad!).

Some French commands

I stumbled onto wargaming a couple of years ago and for a good while I wasn't sure if it was really my thing. To be honest I am happiest pouring through my reference material looking at all the colourful uniforms reading and re-reading the history of the Napoleonic period and at the same time painting away.

The guys at our club have encouraged me to take an interest in other periods and I have started a few (and have had some fun in doing them) however it's really only the Napoleonic period that catches my imagination.

A view from across the Russian's fragile looking left wing with what appears to be a powerful French army approaching.

Peter was in control of the French right wing

I really like the look of the French infantry in chapeau.

A French mounted officer and his wee dog supervising the french advance.
It's little details like this that gets my own brain working.
I'm lucky here in central Scotland as there are loads of people who share the same passion for Naps and a lot have been doing them for many years trying out most (if not all) of the rule systems available and thankfully they are happy to pass on their wealth of experience.

So when I came along all I had to do was start painting up my own wee men and base them to the rule system that most of the guys were playing.

My knowledge of the earlier Napoleonic period is very poor. From around the age of 15 to 20 I pretty much submerged myself readying everything I could about the Napoleonic period but I took a huge break for years when I decided to concentrate on rugby (and girls, for some reason painting little metal soldier somehow didn't seem to attract the fairer sex???). Anyway some how all the information I packed into my thick skull pretty much disappeared over the years.

Thankfully on Saturday Gary (umpire and designated history buff for the day) spent some time filling in the many gaps in my knowledge about the battle.

French light infantry advancing.

I was tempted to ask if I could take part in some way (maybe fire off some artillery) however Claymore comes but once a year and you really need to hunt down those bargains. I managed to pick up some Saxon Zastrow Cuirassiers from AB getting a chance to meet Ian and put a face to the emails!

to be continued . . .


Stryker said...

Hi Paul - Great post with great pics. Actually (and rather bizarrely) I was a teenager at the one time in history that painting little soldiers had some cred with the fairer sex. This was the late 60s when the Callan TV show was on – the girls liked Edward Woodward and he painted model soldiers and fought wargames, oh joy. Sadly this effect didn’t last…


Ken said...

Hi Paul,

I would have went and attended Claymore myself had it not conflicted with my son's Scout trip.

You took some nice pics for us and I'm sure you all had a great time. Maybe next time we could meet up?

Ahhh fond memories of Callan, I actually started basing my Airfix Highlanders and French on bits of cardboard thanks to one episode!



paulalba said...

Hi Ian,
Glad you enjoyed the read and it sounds like the 60's may well have been a great time to grow up. We were having a discussion at our club last year about all the film's and TV shows that had some wargames or figure painting in them. I don't think we remembered Callan?

Hi Ken,
Yeah that would be cool. The Claymore show is really good now that it is in a better venue. It just used to be a rugby scrum. even the Bring and Buy was more managable this year!


Stryker said...

Ah, Paul that's because you are too young to remember the TV show which is where we actually saw Callan sitting in his bedsit painting figures - how did he make that seem cool? Actually though, come to think of it he didn't have a girlfriend! The original show was a bit like Spooks but with a much smaller cast, less action and wobbly scenery. The latter film is the one that featured the famous Gilder Gettysburg terrain.

Peeler said...

Hi Paul, ABsolutely great pics of a great game mate. Say Hello to Gary and the gang for me will you? Haven't seen them in a while.

paulalba said...

Hi Ian,
Yeah, I think it was a little before my time. I'll have to keep an eye out for the film. My brother is pretty mad on painting ACW figures at the moment (for gettysburg) I am sure he will remember it.

Hi Mr P,
Glad you like the pictures. It's great to get the chance to see a really good looking napoleonics game on show. I will pass on your regards.

Thanks for your comments guys.
Bets regards

Lannes said...


paulalba said...

Hi Billy,
I enjoyed your blog a lot, I have had problems accessing it at times and some of the links don't seem to work for me but the stuff I have seen has been excellent.
Best regards