The Medieval folk that run around hitting each other with sticks were out again at Delapré Abbey this weekend. We wandered down, because Delapré is one of our regular winter walks, and because Trebian was presenting his battle of Northampton game; a Cracking Game Grommet, in which Lancastrians discover that cheese tastes best when toasted …
Suzanne played for the first time. Within seven moves, she had sacked and burned Northampton (move 1),
rampaged through the Lancastrian camp, capturing the King (move 6),
and executed a pile of Lancastrian Nobs, reminding me why I generally avoid arguing with Yorkshire Folk!
That’ll be no quarter then!
At lunchtime, a pair of re-enactors of ample girth were tucking into a medieval meal that seemed to comprise of a lot of wine and pork pies.
Elsewhere, a blacksmith of much leaner thew was hammering an iron bar into a sickle, and some enthusiastic medieval gunners were creating loud bangs and rolling banks of acrid smoke. By way of light relief, I bought Suzanne a solid oak medieval folding camp chair, then had to carry it a mile or so back to the car, through the woods, fortified by a rather good pie at the new Delapré café. Personally though, we miss the old volunteers cafe, with its quirky service, homemade cakes and 1950s price structure.
These fearsome 25mm fellows last saw light in Armati games over 15 years ago, but their high medieval heyday was in the basement at Knox Road, when they would regularly be roughly handled by YesthatPhil – usually from the flank or behind. Nobody wanted to try their luck from the front!
The oldest model in the picture above is Baron Shagnastie – a veteran of the Scottish Campaign at Sandhurst from the late ’70s – he is the stumpy chap with a red duck on his head, and I think he might be a Greenwood and Ball figure, or possible, a Garrison. He is a single-piece casting, and like most twisted meglomaniacs, is a little short in the saddle.
I am proudest of the Hinchcliffe Sergeants – they were all individually modified in my second year at Uni. Most of them still have their arms, I didn’t know about pinning or superglue in those days. they were a raggedy crew, straight back from a chevauchée, complete with looted sheep and stuff slung across their saddlebacks. They are based for Armati.
Sir Frederick appears here with a big heap of Lamming knights and sergeants. The different style of sculpting is very noticible, the Hinchcliffes being far more fluid in every way, but en-masse they just blend in amidst the welter of heraldry. The De Goughs were traditionalists, and have clung on to older styles of armour, deeming the more modern bascinets to be “a bit poncey“.
To emphasise the point, this is the view that an unlucky man-at-arms would have from the front rank of the opposing army.
You can see from this view of the bases that some of the lads have been moonlighting in skirmish games and RPGs. Dungeons and Dormice was a legend in its day!
No medieval wargames collection would have been complete in the Eighties without a merry band of outlaws. Here are two of mine.
What could be more innocent than two people enjoying a country stroll?
The short fellow dressed in Lincoln green is Little Jim – a Minifigs Wood Elf, if I recall correctly. I forget which firm made Robbin B’stard. I’m pretty certain that he was a fantasy figure picked up at a show somewhere – not chunky enough for a Lamming, and not arched enough for a Greenwood & Ball or regimented enough for a Minifigs. *sigh*. Perhaps someone will recognise him?
Got any more gold, Mister?
The Bishop of Boston (Lincolnshire, not America!) has had the top of his crozier robbed. He is a Minifig, and a very undernourished bishop by today’s heroic 28mm-going-on-32 standards. His carriage and retinue are nowhere in sight. Some of the Humbrol enamels used to paint these figures have chipped a little over the years, but on the whole, they have fared pretty well.
You know how it goes – finally, the tidying up in the Man Cave reaches that pile of box files patiently sitting in the corner, and you open them. After the puff of dust subsides, you see forgotten treasure glinting in the gloom!
Sir Frederick de Gough and his brother (the one with the big pointy stick) were the very first pair of Hinchcliffe 25mm metal figures that I ever bought (From Sherman’s Model Shop in Scunthorpe). It must have been over 45 years ago now.
I even soldered the florist’s wire lance on and felt very grown-up doing it. Chromate primer was followed by oils and enamels that have stood the test of time. He has battled his way up and down the length of the (25mm) British Isles over the years. Fred earned his name and achievements from the local Grammar school. Only he remains unchanged.
I will be a bit busy until June, so expect more burrowing into the past as boxes come to light.