EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In the Queue

I have long had a thing for signalers, radiomen, heliograph teams, semophore signallers and so on. It may be influence from my Dad having been in the RC Signal Corps, but I blame it in part on this picture.

I've been wanting to do my own version of this since the late 60's when I got Henry Harris's book at Expo 67 along with Vol 1 of Funken's  Le Costume et Les Armes des Soldats de Tous les Temps.


Years later I of course discovered that this was originally published in English as Model Soldiers


.Different cover, different language, same story and pictures.

When I discovered SoldierPac and found a copy of Andrew Rose's book, I began plotting to buy the parts needed to recreate the scene, 2 standing highland officer bodies, 1 kneeling highland officer, 3 feather bonnets, 1 set of binoculars, 1 set of arms from boy scout with semophore flags, 2 extra arms. Somehow though, the order kept getting pushed back, mostly because as always money and time were scarce, I wasn't a solo gamer at the time or an idle collector and we had just started into 54mm Ancients. Soldierpac ceased trading, I largely dropped from 54mm  to 40mm and the plan became to do my  own Highland signal team from scratch while doing an Oberhilse team (converted 3 years ago and still not painted!). . Welllllll, looking through the selection of bodies and arms and heads from the new Little Britain's range. Looks like I can get what I need to put together something similar to the picture but in 42mm..

I haven't found much (ok any) evidence for or against the British Army using wig wag flags in the 50's or 60's and the heliograph doesn't really come in until the days of khaki  but I can probably support the use of .redcoated signal teams in Faraway quite early on.

So, I'll put this back on my list, the longgggggggg list.

11 comments:

  1. But couldn't you plausibly use heliographs, with redcoats, in a field exercises scenario? I'm sure I've got something similar during the high point of the Volunteer movement - perhaps in the Blandford book on infantry uniforms that came out in the very early 1970s. I'll have to find it.

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    1. Oh yes certainly and even possibly in South Africa with red serge and sun helmets but my troops are 1860's at the latest so flags are probably in, telegraph units certainly are but heliographs that early go along with steam tanks and things, technically possible but not historical.

      But I think I know the picture you mean, my copy is near at hand along with Barnes books. I want to do an infantry Gatling crew too!


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  2. Interesting, Ross. My father was also in the signal corps . . . the US version . . . during WWII.

    He was stationed in Central America . . . Panama specifically but he was sent all over the place . . . even to the Galopogas Islands.

    Have you received my emails regarding the Bellevue Hills action? If not, I'll resend.


    -- Jeff

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    1. Mine was a linesman in Italy and Holland assigned to the 5th Armoured Division.

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    2. Jeff - wrong post - but "best of" for the chemo...

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  3. Ross -
    I found a photo and a bit of info in "Simkin's Soldiers" vol.2, Infantry, from 1987. As it's a tight bound paperback it doesn't copy too well, but the text reads - "the flags, which come in pairs, one blue and one white with a central blue stripe; depending on the nature of the background against which he would be seen, the signaller used a dark or light coloured flag. There were also two sizes, 2 feet square and 3 feet square and it was reckoned that messages sent with the latter could be read in England at a range of 5-7 miles.
    Hope this helps.

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    1. Yes thanks! 5 miles? Wow. I need to change my rules!

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  4. I've had that very edition of Harris for what must be over 35 years by now.... blimey... where does the time go???

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    1. Somedays 40 years feels like yesterday. This book was an eye opening life changer for me. A couple of years before Featherstone.

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  5. I have a 1962 edition (1967 reprint) of Henry Harris's Model Soldiers, subtitled on the cover 'Pleasures and Treasures' (a title Sigmunt Freud's followers might have conjured with). The cover depicts a highly animated wooden figure of a French Dragoon (modelled by a General Angenot). For mine it's really an eye candy book, not being into modelling for its own sake. Actually, I have two copies, but the dust cover of the other has long since vanished. Both were picked up umpteenth hand for a song...
    Cheers,
    Ion

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    1. I was neither modeller nor wargamer when I got this, just a teenager who didn't want to give up his toy soldiers or be made fun of. I became a modeller until I found Featherstone! It was a little hard on my small collection of Britain's and Crescents though.

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