Monday 31 December 2012

Happy New Year: 2013

Wishing everyone around the world a Happy and Prosperous 2013

Beau Geste Digest

Well, not long left now of 2012. Time for a quick one though from Ana and the team over in Argentina in the shape of two new sets of Indian infantry figures for their ever popular WW1 series

The Indian Army in WW1: a brief history

In 1901 oil had been discovered in commercial quantities at Masjid-e-Suleiman at the head of the Persian Gulf. At the start of the war in 1914, the privately owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company which owned the concessions for these fields was about to be bought by the British Government, primarily to fuel the British Fleet. It soon became clear that the Ottoman Turkish Army was being mobilized and in August the Indian Government was instructed to prepare contingency plans to protect these strategic assets

The plans dictated that in the event of the Turkish Army coming out in support of the Germans, the Indian Army was to act to secure the oilfields. As a contingency, the Indian Expeditionary Force D under command of Lieutenant–General Sir Arthur Barrett sailed from Bombay on 16 October 1914 for Bahrain. They, together with Expeditionary Force A who had been hurriedly sent to Europe at the end of September in response to a request from the Imperial General Staff for men to support the war effort, became the first Indian elements committed to war outside of India

Before the war, the Indian government had decided that India could afford to provide two infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade in the event of a European war. Over four divisions were eventually sent as Indian Expeditionary Force A which formed the Indian Corps and the Indian Cavalry Corps that arrived on the Western Front in 1914. The high number of officer casualties the corps suffered early on had an effect on its later performance. British officers that understood the language, customs, and psychology of their men could not be quickly replaced, and the alien environment of the Western Front had some effect on the soldiers


Their first engagement was on the Western Front within a month of the start of the war, at the First Battle of Ypres. Here, Garwhal Rifles were involved in the war's first trench raid on 9–10 November 1914 and Khudadad Khan became the first Indian to win a Victoria Cross. After a year of front-line duty, sickness and casualties had reduced the Indian Corps to the point where it had to be withdrawn

Nearly 700,000 then served in the Middle East, fighting against the Turks in the Mesopotamian campaign. There they were short of transportation for resupply and operated in extremely hot and dusty conditions. Led by Major General Sir Charles Townshend, they pushed on to capture Baghdad but they were repulsed by Turkish Forces

In the First World War the Indian Army participated in a number of campaigns and battles including:
    The Western Front
    The Battle of Gallipoli
    The Sinai and Palestine Campaign
    The Mesopotamian Campaign, Siege of Kut
    The Battle of Tanga in East Africa

Participants from the Indian subcontinent won 13,000 medals, including 12 Victoria Crosses. By the end of the war a total of 47,746 Indians had been reported dead or missing and 65,126 were wounded in action

Happy hunting!  

Friday 28 December 2012

JJD: January Releases

Hot on the heels of my last post concerning JJD's December releases comes news of what's in store for January 2013, as promised! Further details are available on the company website, JJD UK

John Jenkins Designs New Releases for January 2013:

ACE-15P Knights Of The Skies - Ernst Udet and Lola
ACE-17 Knights Of The Skies - Albatros DIII, “Blaue Maus” Jasta 2, March 1917 (Frommherz)
ACE-17P Knights Of The Skies - Ltn. Hermann Frommherz  - Hard Luck Hermann
PSG-05 The Peninsular War - Spanish Guerillas, Two Monks Loading and Firing
LEUT-10 Battle of Leuthen, Leuthen Churchyard Gateway
BCHLIMB-05 British Corps of Artillery - Driver
SRNGUN-02 The Sudan - British Naval Brigade, 5 Barelled Gardner Gun
SRN-10 The Sudan - British Naval Brigade, Wounded Sailor and Helper
ACWM-01 American Civil War - U.S. MARINES 1861-1865, 2 Figures standing
ACWM-01N American Civil War - Union Marine Corps 1861-1865, 4 Figures
BAL-07A8 Battle On The Monongahela - Pack Horse #3
BAL-08B Battle On The Monongahela - Pack Horse #4

Collector's Club

JJCLUB-2013A Collector Club Membership - Battle Of The Plains Of Abraham 1759, British, 35th Regiment of Foot, Private Jenkins
JJCLUB-2013B Collector Club Membership The Peninsular War 1807-1814, British 95th Rifles, 2nd Battalion, Captain John Jenkins
JJCLUB-2013C Collector Club Membership - Knights of the Skies, Captain William Stan

Happy hunting!

JJD: December Releases

Not exactly hot off the press this one, but read on to discover what JJD announced earlier this month. As always, further information is available from JJD UK

December Releases
Another Jasta from Richthofen’s Flying Circus, flown by the young Ernst Udet, joins the Knights of The Skies in its striking ‘optical illusion’ livery
The British ground crew are joined by part 2 of the ‘Chocs Away’ starter set with another two flavoursome figures
Across the trenches a third German Mechanic and Accessories set arrives to ensure the machines of the Flying Circus are maintained in perfect running order to all the better to keep those English gentlemen on their toes

Two more limited edition collector’s club sets begin their preview period
Roger’s Servant, who served the man for many years, became separated from Rogers during the Battle on Snowshoes and found himself travelling with Captain Henry Pringle and Lt. Boyle Roche. Pringle wrote during the retreat “one night the servant straggled from us, where he sat down, fell asleep and died immediately, tho a very strong man.”
English Travelling Blacksmith’s Forge. In ideal situations, each British field artillery battery would have a travelling forge to accompany it on campaign. Travelling forges had to be light and portable, to ensure they could properly repair any carriage that had become disabled wherever they were needed

The clamour continues to rise at the Battle of Leuthen with an additional set of Prussian Grenadiers advancing upon the gate

First featured in the caption competition the Ruined Spanish House is the first of a series of terrain pieces in a Mediterranean style, this model will make the perfect backdrop to any Peninsular War or Spanish Civil War diorama. The model is highly detailed and being finished on both sides it can be used a number of ways
Two more of Napoleon’s ‘fighting cocks’ stand firm in the heat of the Peninsular sun in the Portuguese Cazadores firing line.
The ranks of the local forces swell in The Sudan with the addition of two new sets. The first sees two dynamic sculpts - Mahdists charging into the British lines and the second brings firepower to bear to the thin tartan line with two Beja warriors with rifles.


JJD UK is delighted to announce the launch of a range of high quality Trees for the modeller and diorama enthusiast now available on our website. They are suitable for fixing into terrain board and we are currently prototyping a range of bases for use in shelf displays

First previewed in 2011 and refined with input from collectors all around the world, the highly anticipated flying display stands are now available for our Knights of the Skies.
These stunning new stands are compatible with the following planes:
ACE-06 Albert Ball’s Nieuport, ACE-07 Albatros DIII, ACE-08 SE-5a, ACE-14 Barker’s Sopwith Camel, ACE-15 Udet’s ‘Optical Illusion’
The small stand is 5” high and the medium stand is 6 3/4”, both are available separately and as a twin pack (one of each stand) for the dog-fight enthusiasts among us. The screw mechanism allows for some flexibility in positioning, be adventurous and be sure to show us your display

These stands will also be suitable for the forthcoming re-releases of both ACE-01 and ACE-10

The Great War collection launches against the backdrop of the exploits of Lt. C. B. Arnold and his crew on the 8th August 1918, whose actions have been called ‘the greatest mechanical cavalry charge of the war’. Arnold’s Medium Mark A, Whippet Tank, named ‘Musical Box’, managed to; engage a German artillery position, disperse a battalion of infantry, destroy an observation balloon and a transport column of the German 225 Division before being cornered and set ablaze by enemy artillery fire!

More news very shortly about JJD's releases for January 2013. Until then, happy hunting!

Warfare: Merry Christmas

It's fast approaching the end of December and sad to say I've been suffering with a really nasty cold and cough over the past few days. So much so I haven't felt inclined to do very much apart from sleep and dose myself up to the eyeballs with painkillers and glucose syrup. Thankfully, I'm starting to feel a little more human once again and am taking the opportunity to do a bit of catching up with news and announcements I have neglected to post about over the past couple of weeks

Apologies for failing to post a Christmas greeting. I sincerely hope you all had an enjoyable day and that dear old Santa brought you everything you wished for. He brought me a few new additions to my humble collection and I will be sharing those with you in the not too distant future, all being well

On the subject of Christmas greetings, here's what landed in my inbox a little while ago from the team behind Warfare Magazine

Happy reading!

Tuesday 11 December 2012

William Britains: WW1 Germans

I don't currently own any Britains figures and I'm not a fan of their more traditional looking glossy toy soldiers. I prefer more realistic, matte painted models and, since I specialise in models representing German military men, I guess it comes as no real surprise to learn that the following figures caught my eye whilst flicking through the pages of the latest issue of Toy Soldier Collector

I've recently started putting together a small collection of late war WW1 stormtroopers and am wondering whether these chaps would make suitable recruits to add to the K&C and TGM figures already purchased. The K&C and TGM figures go quite well together, in respect of both size, proportionality and painting quality but at the moment I have no idea how these soon to be released Britains will compare

Suffice to say, I will have to do a little more research before coming to a final decision! In their own right, and judging from the super size images available on the company website, they look to be very nice figures, well sculpted with plenty of equipment and other interesting details and painted to a pretty high standard, especially when you factor in the price which is set at £25.99 for each of the individual figure sets and £59.99 for the two man flame thrower set which is without doubt the one 'stand out' piece in the series

The pictures give the impression that in terms of their overall appearance they might be a little too 'grey' to stand all that convincingly alongside my existing purchases, but pictures on websites, and in magazines for that matter, can often be deceiving when it comes to things like that. I'm looking forward to seeing them 'in the flesh' so roll on February and I can pop along to my local dealer and make a more accurate appraisal

Until next time, happy hunting!

Sunday 9 December 2012

A Date For Your Diary

Next year, Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th February to be precise, sees The British Airsoft Show and The British Shooting and Countryman Show coming together for what promises to be an epic two days of 'gun fun' and 'shooting related shenanigans'

Two airsoft buddies of mine, who used to shoot with me regularly as part of the team I'm in, and both of whom have recently moved down south due to work commitments, mentioned that they were planning to come up for it so chances are I'll be there along with the rest of 'the squad'

Both partners in the enterprise have a website you can easily check out. Take a look at the screenshots below and see if you're tempted to find out more

Not that I'm wishing my life away or anything silly like that, but I can barely wait to be there! See ya!

Airsoft International Goes Digital

Yes, that's right folks! For those of you that don't already know, and for all I know there might be one or two of you out there, Airsoft International, the UK's most popular and widely read Airsoft magazine, is now available digitally thanks to a hook up with PocketMags

The new and improved digital version is compatible with all mobile devices and desktop systems so you can 'pick up' and read AI quite literally wherever you are in the world! [As long as you have a device of some sort handy!]

Finding your digital AI couldn't be easier. If you have an i-phone simply go to your Newsstand or visit the App Store and search for Airsoft International. Follow the on-screen prompts and away you go. Alternatively, visit the PocketMags website, search for AI and then follow the equally straight forward registration process which you are guided through each and every step of the way

You can buy the mag one issue at a time for £3.99 or purchase one of two subscription bundles. The first costs £10.99 and allows you to buy 3 issues and the second costs £17.99 which gives you access to 10 issues. In each case you can choose whether you buy new issues or back copies and there are no time limits. Not sure whether you like the idea of reading the mag digitally. Then download the free 'try before you buy' issue and see what you think, just like I did this morning when I signed up!

Beau Geste Digest

Ana and the team over in Buenos Aires are back this month with some good news and some bad!

The good news is that they have elected to add to one of their most popular ranges of figures and announce the release of a handful of French Foreign Legion medical corps figures set at around the turn of the last century and perfect for all you BG WW1 enthusiasts

The sets are pictured below and are available in the UK from the company's sole UK distributor, Piers Christian

The bad news is that they have also announced the demise, for personal reasons, of one of their lines, The Four Feathers range of figures

Here are those FFL figures I mentioned and very splendid they look, too!

Here are three original images showing the FFL MC in action

The 'camel ambulance' will be admirably supported by the following ground crew and, as you can see from the final image, together they make a formidable team!

Until next time, happy hunting!

Thomas Gunn Miniatures: December Releases

Hello again and welcome to this my second post of the festive period. In it you will find information from TGM relating to their December releases, some of which arrived in my inbox in November as a 'November update'. Anyway, read on and hopefully you will find something of interest

Dear All
We started shipping November's releases Thursday just gone, all orders should be completed by the end of this week. It became apparent that the new Napoleonic infantry were destined for a swift sell out and in fact the whole shipment was pre-ordered in just under a week. Quickly following these guys out the door were the Nebelwerfers and the crew figures, now all sold out and no longer available here apart from a couple of loose winter launchers and a few of the Desert version of course! It may be prudent if you require these pieces to contact your dealer and see if he has any left in stock, if you have not already reserved these as of yet
For those of you who missed the French Napoleonics this time I have attached a picture of our next piece which will look great in multiples marching towards the British or Russian lines. NAP022 will be available next month and once more will be limited to 65 sets with 2 figures in each box 

On a final note, December's show in London will see the Australian Light Horse Officer, our new WW1 vehicle, and a new range of figures making an appearance! Something for everybody I hope!
Kind Regards Vicki Lucas
Marketing Manager TGM
The above mentioned Napoleonics are also available 'all in brown' and as Imperial Guard figures complete with bearskins!

Other figure sets due out this month 
 GC012 Rommel kicks off this month's release as one of our last Gunn Club figures in the current format, more news to follow next year. Rommel started off his military career during WW1 in France. He later saw action in Romania and Italy and was awarded both classes of Iron Cross and Prussia’s highest award, Pour Le Merite, for his part in the capture of a large Italian force at Mount Matajur

Rommel was wounded 3 times during the war but survived the conflict to later rise to fame as the Desert Fox in WW2. This worthy adversary of the Allies committed suicide in 1944 after being implicated in the failed July attempt to assassinate Hitler

Our A version comes with Rommel in a privately purchased sheepskin coat aiming his Luger as he goes into action and the B version comes with Rommel wearing his gas mask. Either version should enhance your WW1 range very nicely! Available now and priced at $32 with each version limited to 120 pieces 
 ATW007 Bar Gunner giving more firepower to your Airborne troops! Firing from the prone position our A version wears the famous screaming eagle insignia of the 101st Airborne and the B version sports the unit markings of the 82nd Airborne

Priced at $33, available now with 120 of each version being produced

 ATW009 ‘Shush’ was inspired by a scene from the film ‘The longest Day’ in which a US Paratrooper lands inside the greenhouse of an old lady during the early hours of the Normandy campaign. As a child I always used to laugh when the Paratrooper put his finger to his lips and whispered ‘Shush’ which seemed to frighten the old lady no end, before she scurried back inside!

We have modified our version with 2 young French girls instead of an old lady,
who have just come across a Paratrooper as he dashes off to find his comrades

The A version comes with the US soldier wearing a helmet and the markings of the 82nd Airborne (ATW!) and the B version comes with our soldier sporting the uniform markings of the 101st Airborne and a Mohican haircut! Available now and priced at $64 with each version limited to 120 pieces

 GW/LOA005 Stokes Mortar Set features two Allied soldiers launching another round towards the German Lines. Our GW version is suitable for somewhere in France with two Tommie’s in soft caps, the LOA versions will be suitable for a Middle East setting. The A version of our LOA set features for the first time Ghurkha soldiers who appear to be giving the enemy hell! Lawrence of Arabia used Ghurkha and Indian army soldiers in his raids against the Turks, it therefore seemed fitting to include these elite fighting troops in our latest release. The B version features British troops in Pith hats also giving the Turks hell! Priced at $75 each set, limited to 100 of each version and available now!

 GW/LOA006 Allied Officer WW1. A super looking figure that can be used in any number of dioramas. Will definitely look the part kneeling next to our earlier Hotchkiss MG team or new Stokes Mortar set. The GW version is titled Australian officer Western Front and wears the uniform indicative for an Aussie officer serving on the front line during that period. Moving East our LOA A version figure wears a Pith hat with tropical dress and our final LOA B version wears the uniform and headdress of the now famous Light Horse Regiment. Each piece limited to 100, priced at $32 and available now. The Light Horse version has already been heavily pre-ordered and I would recommend an early reservation if you require this figure

That just about wraps it up for TGM this month so, until next time, be lucky and happy hunting!