Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tricorne temptations and Colonial captivation

My recent interest in all things of a 'pirate' nature and its accompanying period; the Golden Age of Piracy, and a major conflict of the period, the War of Spanish Succession, had me perusing for all things of a tricorne persuasion.

I already have a great fondness of the Black Powder rules, and when I heard of the immanent release of a C18th supplement for this rule-set being released: Last Argument of Kings, I have to say I was quite thrilled.

And so the fun hunt for suitable figures began. Whilst I love Foundry miniatures, and for the small numbers required for pirate themed skirmish games, they are ideal, the idea of buying up heaps of them for Black Powder scale games was not a financial option.

With the recent release of great quality plastic sets of hard styrene miniatures, at affordable prices, this had to be the way to go... but I could only find one suitable set:

War of Spanish Succession from Wargames Factory. An affordable plastic set, but by God Sir, they looked awful!

I have rarely seen such a poor paint-job be used to advertise and attract custom to a product!

So the hunt went on, but despite emailing the Perrys and WarlordGames, neither seemed to have any plans to release their own versions.

Hmph! I thought, and let it lie.

Then I stumbled across this pic, via a link on TMP:

What a difference! I have hope again for these figures, and intend to get a set. I just now need to find how best to order them for delivery to NZ. My usual source Maelstrom games has them for about 15 quid, which includes shipping. Wargames Factory themselves have them at $20US, but their site is not the friendliest and I can't see their shipping rates quoted anywhere...

Looking further through the Wargames Factory website, I came across their Colonial wars offerings:

And they obviously got somebody who could paint this time to advertise the models themselves:

They look superb. And with the possibilities of GASLIGHT rules for fun skirmish play, and also Black Powder larger scale action, I think they will certainly fit the bill.

And of course the Zulus are available and equally appealing, and are affordable as plastics when you need "fousands of 'em":

Equally well painted up:

I always fancied re-fighting the battle of Rourke's Drift, after watching that classic piece of movie entertainment; ZULU with Michael Caine and Stanley Baxter.

cockney accent "Don't throw...bloody me!", the most famous and oft impersonated line Michael Caine NEVER said ;-).

I also loved the portrayal of Colour Seargent Bourne in the movie too. I forget the actors name, but damn fine show he did of it. The sideburns were awesome.

Ah well, more plastic temptations to pull at my purse-strings... just don't tell the missus!


  1. Eee by gum, you're coming over all historical!

    You're right, those Wargames Factory WSS figures look rather nice in the second batch of photos. Will be interesting to see what they are like in real life.

    Also, I wonder if Warlord Games are hinting at a range on The '45, what with their recent Bonnie Prince Charlie and Duke of Cumberland figures?

  2. That's the problem with 'historicals', there's so many periods to attract your attention , and hard earned! Ah well, I have bitten the bullet, and ordered a box of each of the above from Maelstrom Games, although the Brits are out of stock currently, but no hurry on them, I have heaps still on painting table... I got an email from back from WF, and they want approx $10US to ship one box, or about $20US to ship 3 boxes, to NZ. Maelstrom win hands down with their free shipping :-) Plus with each order placed you get cash back, which I'll put towards Last Argument of Kings once they have it in stock :-)

  3. Hi Scott, I think that's "problem". :)

    Two of us have got sucked into making TYW armies with the Warlord Games range and others in Chch are really getting into 28mm Naps using plastics. Of course, in the past year I've also acquired those Roman and Viking 28mm Impetvs armies...

    I get 15mm scale stuff for the sort of grognardy gaming aspect(and I've got a 15mm Arthurian army to get painted still) but it really is great to be able to wargaming using 28mms so often.


  4. Good to see you looking at historicals Scott. I have both the Brit's and the Zulus. All in all nice fig's.

  5. Dispersion! Acht! Gross Malheur!

    Tricorne temptations... how well I can understand them, havinng been 'hooked' to the hobby by C. Grant's 'The War Game' (can't believe it was almost 40 years ago!).
    Indeed Wargame Factory is working on the WSS 'generic' cavalry, though it will for sure take time: it will leave only artillery and 'characters' to be found elsewhere.

    An alternative could be 1/72 plastics: maybe aesthetically less satisfying, but some choice, and some wargamers, 'historical' or 'imaginary', make good use of them. Of course 28-30mm is more 'beautiful' and offers a wider choice; including a 18th C. Maiden Guard: another 'tricorne temptation'!

    And Tricornes -maybe more by popular tradition than 'historicity'- are perfectly 'pirates compatibles', which would limit the 'dispersion': troops from Wittenberg are sent to the East and West Indies.

    BTW, since permanent war between the Emperor and the Elector in Young's 'Charge!', the 'Lace Wars' are the period par excellence for Imagi-Nations. Allows to express one's creativity in the educated design of original flags and uniforms.

    And, in the same way as pirates often meet zombies and monsters, units and characters 'in tricornes' can live very diverse adventures.

    Colonial temptation: if you succomb to it, I'd suggest you paint the 'Natives' first and send a little expedition 'in tricorne' to 'Afrodisia': so you'd try your hand at Colonial wargaming while painting the 'Victoria's Boys in Red' at leisure: less dispersion, 2 projects progressing at the same time -each benefiting to the other.


  6. @ Arteis - Yes I wondered whether now they brought out that wonderful Duke figure that a box of minatures or two may be inline to follow?

    @Jamie - Yes the advent of quality plastics really has transformed wargaming in recent years, making 28mm big beautiful armies attainable for more of us. They are always more pleasureable to paint and simply look fantastic once done on the tabletop. I must admit not to being a great fan of smaller scales, though I find it seems to makes sense for stuff like WWII where tanks are involved.

    @Rodger - You know I may have to change my blog background and header pictures! Just thinking ahead, what sort of ratio of figures works for Zulu War? I note you get 20 Brits per box to 30 Zulus.

    @Abdul666 - wow, lengthy post - I'll have to check through those links. I have seen the test WSS cavalry figure on WF site and it looks good. I am not a huge fan 1/72 plastics - airfix and the like. Since I played with these as a child I cant get out of my head these are 'childrens toy soldiers'. I know some like them and do nice paintjobs on them. They're just not for me, though are a useful tool to grab my young sons attention, and keep him interested in gaming, rather than always playing computer games... Yes I think the zulus will get painted up first, partly as the Brits are out of stock, but also because, I may get my son to paint up these, at least base coat all the figures skin brown - it may save me some time and give him some painting practice in just doing a neat and tidy job. He's just turned 8 years.

    Looking forward to these new boxes arriving.

  7. I knew you'd crack eventually - welcome to the dark side!
    I'm contemplating starting Marlburians all over again with these figures as well...

  8. @ndcblog - "Ready to do thy bidding, my Master!" ;-)


Please feel free to comment on my blog. It is always nice to get feedback.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...