Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spit & Polish

 Thanks to all for the comments on service dress so far, each and every one has been taken under consideration. For any latecomers, there's time left yet, so, speak up! (Or 'type in' might be more accurate.)

When I included the full dress bugler of the Blue Guards in the picture, my intention was merely to show past practice but thinking about it, the tradition of full dress British toy soldiers in Little Wars, the popularity of Lace Wars amongst Imagin-Nation gamers in particular, I shouldn't have been  surprised at the degree of support for the continued use of full dress in the field, even against modern rifles. I imagine just such letters to the editor as the 19th C turned to the 20th. Duly noted.
"Hallo young George, come up for the races have you? Well, I suppose I should be calling you Lieutenant Zinn now shouldn't I? congratulations on graduating young man. and smartly turned out too. What's this nonsense in the papers about this so called service dress? Why, when your daddy and I campaigned in the Origawn Territory, we did so with boots properly blacked and brass shining. No batman worth his salt would have let it be otherwise."


  1. I think the charm of your style of wargaming is that full dress fits it so well, like one of those per WW1 magazine illustrations of the coming war showing the British in red coats and highland dress va Germans looking like they came right from the Sedan ca 1870. It captures the imagination, for me.

    1. Mike I think you are right and by & large it is that ideal rather than the reality which I choose to portray but along side full dress. However, I am also attracted to/intrigued by the subconscious irony of the intersection of spit & polish with drab, for example, troops marching off to war behind brass bands, wearing starched Khaki uniforms with pipe clayed belts and brass buttons shining. I think that this may be a reflection of my grandfather as well, he went through the 1st War without losing his love of shiny buttons and toy soldiers.

  2. It hardly seems proper - you aren't becoming one of those demmed skulking khaki fellows are you Ross?

  3. Ross Mac,

    A good choice, methinks!

    All the best,


  4. Hi Ross,
    I like all of the uniforms pictured. For whatever reason, the glossy finish you use seems to me to go better with the bright colors. I suppose that's just a mental connection to the old-style Britains.
    There might be photographic considerations as well, I.E., easier to tell red from blue in an overview shot than drab from drabber.


    1. John, the latter might not be a big issue when fighting natives but you are spot on if the major powers get at it as is almost bound to happen sooner or later.