Friday, 9 April 2010

The way ahead

To use "Ross Mac"'s words: explaining away the magic,but first...

First of all: a big thank you to all visitors and especially to all those who took the trouble to leave a comment. It is very heart warming to see that sometimes something simple can brighten ones day. Please, anyone visiting or subscribing as a follower: leave a little note introducing yourselves, or just say hello. It's always nice and enriching to read someone's opinion or advice.

Second on the agenda: take a look at the "Dressing the Lines" blog run by the well known gamer Roly Hermans of The Kapiti Fusiliers fame (see the link under favourite places). Old meets new in perfect synergy. By the way, Hermans is a Flemish name...just so you know what part of the world those genes came from. There is hope for me yet. The blog will appear under the "inspiration" section.

As for the Magic Easter Box.  Yes, the box magically appeared on my dining table and the soldiers took over my house. We are camping in our garden shed and are making plans to invade our own house. The dog is doing a reconnaissance patrol as I write this.
Well, to be honest, the soldiers didn't really march forth out of the box, unless you really convinced yourselves they did. In that case you better stop reading here.

It all started some years ago when I first met Jan and Peter from the Alde Garde (on the picture that's Peter on the left and of course Jan on the right from where I'm looking. Actually Peter is on Jan's right). Now and then I corresponded with Jan through e-mail. Little over two years ago Jan mentioned his Box of Spencer Smith minis. Since that day I have been asking, begging, grovelling, demanding, threatening and asking again if I could have his box full of SSM's. Finally, he succumbed after holding him hostage for about 30 seconds when I met up with him in Rheindahlen.

So, last Saturday we met up again in Gent for the Red Barons & Bylandt & Thunderbolts Convention XXII. There Jan parted with his box of Spencer Smiths, praise him. I'm extremely honoured to having been given such a precious gift and I will carefully consider what I will be doing with these mini's, allways asking Jan's opinion before doing anything to the minis. By the way check out his new French Revolution wargaming blog called ça ira. I've added a link under "inspiration".

As for the miniatures... They are based and organised for the WRG Horse and Musket rules and can be used as is for Black Powder, Tricorn and Musket or Pro Gloria rules and maybe some others I don't know. The main issue is that given unit sizes are of around 12 models. They are not really suited for Charge or The Wargame. Well maybe Charge if you brigade the battalions and treat them as companies. Come to think of it, that way I can even use them for The Wargame rules, using main uniform colours as a guide.

As for the way ahead. Well first of all, I will photograph and identify each seperate unit and post them on the Chronicles as an homage to Jan's work and the beautifully Old School painted miniatures themselves. By then I should have decided if I want to go for 36 or 48 mini batallions. Next the figures will be stripped and repainted, keeping Jan's painting style and even keeping the names of a couple of his original units, adding to them any plastic or new metal minis I can find or buy. So eventually all models will be amalgamated into larger units.

So, as soon as my 7YW uniform books are back home I'll start presenting the units.

Tonight is club night...I'll be gloating all evening, maybe even getting free coffees in exchange for a peep in the box...

Happy gaming


  1. Might I suggest that you consider using a blank line between paragraphs?

    It would make it so much easier for those of us with "old eyes".

    And I do look forward to the unit photos.

    -- Jeff

  2. Terribly envious of your good fortune with regard to your recent Spencer Smith windfall. Enjoy them!

    Best Regards,


  3. What a wonderful gift, I'm sure you'll make very good use of them.


  4. I am finding it very hard not to buy some tricorn era figures-this is not helping!

    Have fun!


  5. Do it, Matt! Before it's too late! ;)

    What a nice gift!

  6. Matt,
    pull yourself together man. I still need someone to guide me on my 20mm Napoleonic adventure, so don't you dare get side tracked. For stops at bicorn. Your new tantra is: Tricorn is bad for me (unless they're Spencer Smiths or Minden or RSM95, maybe even Huzzah, and other better known manufacturers, I mean, have you seen those Eureka minis. A cross between Minden and Front Rank and the like. They are also worth considering, ....)


  7. Pjotr,
    a magnificient gift, and your programm with these SSM is so promising!

    succumb to the tricorns and join the brotherhood: the more the merrier!

  8. The sight of a member of the Belgium army putting his whole power in "friendly asking to finanlly get the box" was a whole new experience for me. I had no options but to give them to him.

    But honestly, I'm glad the SSM have a new home for the rest of their wargaming life. I hope you like them.

  9. A princely gift indeed! May they march to victory in your service!

    If they are so nicely painted however, why go to the effort of stripping and repainting them? As you hinted at yourself, there's no reason why Charge! units of 48 couldn't be brigades rather than (single-battalion) regiments? Think of the AWI, with some state units 200 strong or so...