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, June 10, 2018

Truth and Fantasy and Toy Soldiers

As long as I was reorganizing my old toy soldier armies back into 6 figure units now that I have figured out how to manage a table with sufficient 5" grid squares, and working on expanding my opposing conventional mid-19thC armies, I decided to revisit the "enemy" for my Canadian army.  I don't want to refight the actual Fenian raids since this is about playing a wide variety of scenarios as the mood takes me but the "Fenians" are starting to look a bit too much like the US army and I don't want to go there either.

Archive photo from April.

While I was pondering an alternative look for the "Fenian" invaders, I remembered another option, the one that provided my first wargame enemy back in the days of Black Watch Cadets, Airfix and Featherstone. I'll let this extract from an old, archived, Department of National Defence document about exercise-royal-flush explain:

In Exercise Royal Flush, there was a general reference to the enemy force mobilizing in the Montreal area. It must be made clear that this is a Cold War era exercise where the enemy force was referred to as FANTASIANS, a force based on Warsaw Pact structure and equipment. This scenario was created for realism in a Cold War environment and has nothing to do with the political situation in Canada......The reference to a Fantasian army in the Montreal area was for scenario purposes only. In other words, an artificial scenario is superimposed on actual maps."

"An artificial scenario superimposed on actual maps"... Yeah! That's what I wanted! Now I can start designing uniforms for the Fantasian Republican Guard as well as continuing to add to the Canadian Toy Army.

Not only are Governor-General's Footguards finally up to full strength but, they have a bugler!


which made me think of this bit from the irreverent  Perth Conspiracy's 1970 album, amazing what will stick in your mind over the decades (click on image below : 
"and then I heard it...the BUGLE cry......"

14 comments:

  1. Sounds a really fun idea. I very much look forward to seeing the uniforms you come up with.
    Alan

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  2. Yes, the uniforms should be interesting. I would assume either a French or Prussian influence? A Franco-Irish outfit might be interesting - French kepi with Irish-influenced dark green tunic?

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    1. Thinking more Volunteer grey. Lots of US Volunteers for inspiration, and maybe a few British ones. But may be room for some French influence since I'm already on record as planning to a unit based on the Quebec Papal Zouave contingent.

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    1. Kev, that has always been part of this collection, the idea (or 'conceit' to be old fashioned) is imagine someone 60-70 years buying what toys he could find in the shops to make his armies

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  4. At least you don't need to imagine a US Leader who is antagonistic towards Canada...

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    1. I suppose that could be considered a trump card.....

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  5. In the Osprey book on Canadian Campaigns in the 1800's, they show the Fenian raiders wearing green tunics with yellow piping. They might make a nice change of pace.

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    1. Thanks, I'm well acquainted with it and have a few green jackets in my Irish irregulars but had been holding off on a unit until I had a setting and background. I think now that I will do a fake Britain's set of such figures.

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    2. Got me thinking about an Irish Free Army joining in my 1897 lot - green jackets and trousers with yellow piping and wearing bearskins - sounds like an excellent Fantasy... er, Alternate History, Brigade...

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  6. They don't make music like that anymore!

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