Monday, 5 December 2016

First large wargame I ever saw....

As a teenager  I went  to see an exhibition of Fenton's (?) Crimean photographs in Charlotte Square Edinburgh. I forget the year. I was really looking forward to seeing photos like these-
The photos were fascinating but what really caught my attention was the wargame put on by the South East Scotland Wargames Club. There laid out in a large room was a Crimean battlefield replete with Peter Laing figures. It seemed vast to me and on closer inspection it was filled with regiment upon regiment. I recall being fascinated. Up to that point I had mainly painted Rose etc 54mm figures for display ( although growing up with Airfix etc fighting battles from an early age) here was something else - I was hooked and find myself still hooked near on forty years later. I went back again and again and watched and was filled with wonder.I can recall the excitement still. The excitement that led to carrying armies ( Mythical Earth and Airfix acw /tanks) around in my father's old Van Heusen shirt boxes to games. The rest is history as they say.

12 comments:

  1. My favourite war (if such a thing is thinkable!). It seems to be undervalued, but has such a facination for a variety of reasons. Useless (?) commamders on all sides, Napoleonic styles with modern, for the time, weapons, first war to be photographed, etc. That's why the armies of Humperstein come from that period.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Crimean game was in 1973 or 1974, I have notes somewhere if you need more precision.

      Many of the Peter Laing figures were specially commissioned by us as we had been funded by the Scottish Arts Council so buying hundreds and hundreds of them was not a problem, even at a penny each.

      I have the figures stashed away for safe keeping.

      Delete
    2. Having heard all to often of Peter Laing figures being scrapped - apparently one wargamer put loads in the council tip when he couldn't even give them away on e-bay! - it's great to hear that you still have all those figures.
      Maybe you can be persuaded to put another game on with them one day!¬

      Delete
  2. Being a big fan of Peter Laing figures, I wish someone had photographs of that game. I have several Peter Laing Crimea War figures and really love the British cavalry line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The board was 9 x 6, custom made, and was highly contoured to represent the hills and valleys in the Crimea. The main terrain builder was a draftsman for the Scottish Office so he knew what he was doing.

      There are a couple of photographs from the game but not in my possession, they appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News.

      Delete
  3. The photographer was Russell of the Times, reputedly the first war correspondant from the front line.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Howard_Russell

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll give you William Russell was the Times war correspondent out there ("thin red line" etc.) but Roger Fenton was the photographer.

      Delete
    2. Joppy, you have exposed my lack of knowledge of the period. I was at summer camp at the time.

      Delete
  4. I envy you the experience, Alan. From yours and Jim's description it sounds like it was quite a marvel. The Crimean War is an interesting period, and one I might get into one of these days.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jim,
    How about SESWC putting on the game once more at Claymore one year?
    Alan

    ReplyDelete