EXCERPT 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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter

For a number of years now (too many) I have been slowly working towards reducing the numbers of armies and campaigns represented on my shelves in order to make time and space for the chosen few. As part of this process, in 2014, I embarked on an entirely new collection (I know, I know), essentially a Centennial, Shiny, Homecast, Toy Soldier, Not Quite World War One  (NQWW1).  It got off to a great start but I soon found that I needed to make new masters and moulds to continue much farther but had run out of materials and budget.

Instead of pushing ahead anyway and making do, I decided to switch focus to work on other things until I was ready. As I grew near to despairing that the time would ever come, things suddenly came together while I wasn't looking. I have new green stuff, I have a a gallon of good liquid rtv en route, I still have the desire and best of all, I have a plan!

"The one on the left, I think." ... "Yes sir, just the thing we need!"

The book they are looking at is Henry Harris's "Model Soldiers", my entry drug. 
The other was given to my mum by her dad, a reservist recalled to the RHA in 1914. 
Some young kid seems to have flipped through the pictures too often. 

Now, it pains me to say that part of the deal with myself is that I will drop various stalled or played out campaigns and collections and either reduce them to a small "game in a  box" or re-purpose the figures even where this means stripping, re-converting and  re-painting. It also means that once again, I will have to "correct" certain details of the fictional history of Northern Atlantica (the "Colonial" half) but that will be for a separate post. Suffice it to say that there are likely to be some sheep skin caps and maybe the occasional small turban, fez or other cap.

Its time to get back to:

Three years gone by and still not over the mountain yet!


  1. Always too many projects. I keep thinking of all the ones I've started or wanted to start but are lagging behind... And of course the time spent changing the projects I am working on. Then find I keep going back to projects I should have had finished years ago. It's just that there's always another unit to do with my 'favourite' armies.

    1. I've ticked a lot of boxes in my time (metaphorically) very few, if any were 'finished' but there were alot that were either "been there, done that, don't wanna go back" or else my part of a group thing. The rest well the pressure is on to sign off and press on trying to more of less. I figure what's not done in 20 years won't be, I ll probably be coasting by then.

  2. I'm not surprised. That poor horse! I think my problem with the various projects is a kind of 'the grass is greener' syndrome. After a while what I'm not doing seems more interesting than what I am doing. A flaw in my character, no doubt.

    But it does have a kind of upside. What other people are doing is often more interesting than what I'm doing! It helps when what they are doing is what I ought to be doing...

    I recognised that Henry Harris book. For some reason I have two copies of it, one in poor condition, the other in worse, but both at least intact. One's a cancelled library book, picked up for fifty cents or a buck...

    1. Mule! Certified pack mule. And he's at 1 mule:20 mules while the gun is 1:6 so really, its nit as bad as it looks :)

      Oddly I have 2 copies of Harris's book too. The first, which I got around my 12th birthday, was in French, published in Belgium with the model of the Garde Ch a cheval officer on the cover . It was 2 decades before I stumbled on an English copy and realized that it was the original!

    2. Mule. Sorry. The thought crossed my mind but a closer look suggested 'horse' still. No doubt the brevet promotion will encourage the poor beast to shoulder its burden. At that 0.3 of a gun is not so bad, I agree.

      One of my copies has the picture of the wooden French dragoon (p60) on the front cover. The other is plain.

  3. I stumbled across Harris' other charming book, "How to Go Collecting Model Soldiers"only a few years ago. I can only imagine the impression either of his books would have made had I spied them as a lad.

  4. Ross Mac,

    Is it the Autumn equinox that brings on this feeling of 'I must sit down and give some serious thought to my collections of wargame figures?' I think that it must be, because I am having similar thoughts myself. I will definitely make plans to rationalise and down-size ... and will stay firm in my resolve until a new project presents itself!

    All the best,