Eaglewall memories — lots of photos

By Bill Gilpin

(Admin. note: Bill Gilpin sends along these photos, mostly from the book by Donald D. Hood mentioned below, from the collection of Joachim Thiel, and some images from the Internet. The final two photos are mockups Bill designed himself of kits that Eaglewall “could have made.”) As Bill wrote in a comment on an earlier Eaglewall post, “The models originated at Vulcan Foundry in Dorking, England, but became Eagle Models when they were backed by the Eagle comic. They then became Eaglewall when they were also subsidised by Wall’s ice cream! The advantage of this was that, apart from toy & model shops, the models were also sold in newsagents and confectionists!”

The first series; Battle of the River Plate. All models 1/11d (old money) each = (19p!)

Donald Hood’s great book – sadly, now out-of-print.

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Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - World War II | Leave a comment

Another useful find

By Rob Morgan

Buy it when you see it … and not when you need it, as the old saying goes. I was in ‘The Works’ discount bookshop the other afternoon, and picked up this pack: Ten ‘wooden embellishments’ for a pound. Hm? Plenty of uses come to mind for them, each is 18mm diameter and 10mm high. So …

  • Huts for a Zulu Kraal in 1/300th scale? If you based them in a group and smeared a little modelling compound over each and ‘combed it’
  • Standard African huts, or maybe Yurts for the same scale? Similar treatment.
  • WWII Atlantic Wall 15mm observation cupolas? Simply sprayed and camouflaged.
  • WWI fort cupolas … if you drill a small hole low and add say 8 or 10mm of pin or nail for a gun.
  • In 25mm or 28mm, with a few pinhead horns — floating mines.
  • In 1/600th , harbourside storage gas tanks.
  • In 1/1200th Cold War radomes.
  • In Science Fiction a host of potential uses, weapon covers, communication domes, housing, etc, etc.
  • And all for a pound!
Posted in Current projects, Periods - General history, Wargaming | Leave a comment

Battle of Britain rules now available

Mike Crane’s solo air rules, “Introduction to ‘Battle of Britain: Simple Hex Rules’,” have now been added to the blog.

They’re on the Complete Rule Sets page.

Posted in Air gaming | Leave a comment

A sample article for July

Here’s this month’s sample article from the pages of past Lone Warriors. This time, Steve Turner explains the charts he created for officer casualties, to add color to campaign games.

It’s on the Sample Articles page.

Posted in Periods - Colonial | Leave a comment

French and Indian War rules added

Michael Gray’s “French and Indian War Rules” have now been added to the Complete Rule Sets page. The rules look to be easily adaptable to any type of Horse and Musket game.

Posted in Periods - Eighteenth century | 1 Comment

A free gift for D-Day

By Rob Morgan

I rarely buy the ‘glossy’ wargames magazines these days. They don’t have the appeal that they had back in the ’80s, but as I write this, the new issue of Miniature Wargames for July 2019, marked issue 435, has gone on sale. It’s the last few days of June, and dipping into my pocket I bought it. Little or nothing to interest the solo  in its pages, but …

Attached to the cover is a free gift. Well, two of them, Two 1/300th scale plastic British WWII  MTB’s! As the cover price of the magazine is £4.50, and the two models are from the far-from-cheap Cruel Seas range by Warlord Games, this is clearly a bargain — the cover says ‘worth £6.’ So, if you wargame WWII afloat, buy the magazine now!

Brief note on each of the models: High quality moulding,with no flash. There are two waterline hulls, both well detailed, 18 pieces in all, on a single grey sprue. One model is an early Vosper 73 boat, two torpedo tubes, and a two-part bridge and mast assembly. The armament mix of these early boats varied from group to group, and the sprue has four distinctive light weapons for this purpose. The second hull represents a later 73 boat, with four tubes, a similar pilot structure and a forward ‘gun tub.’ Again on these, the armament varied.

Excellent models, quickly built, and attractive. Buy at least one pack while they’re on the shelves. I bought mine in W.H.Smith’s, by the way.

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Coming soon — Lone Warrior No. 207

Editor Rich Barbuto confirms the latest edition of Lone Warrior, the digital journal of the Solo Wargamers Association, will be e-mailed later this week. Here’s a preview of the contents:

  • “Badon and Basingstoke: To the Strongest and Solo Wargaming,” by Paul Le Long. Some solo and not-so-solo gaming using the rule set “To the Strongest.”
  • “Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game — A Game Review,” by Craig Dunglison. A look at the card game based on the Marvel superheroes.
  • “Pick a Card, Any Card: Another Way to Place (Somewhat) Random Terrain,” by George Arnold. Using cards to situate terrain on a wargaming table.
  • “Who Won?” by Marvin Scott. Bonhomme Richard vs. Serapis: An Age of Sail naval game with some historical considerations examined.
  • “My Solo Wargaming,” by Brian Cameron. A lapsed gamer comes back to the fold, with his own ideas about how to enjoy his rediscovered solo endeavors.
  • “Science Fiction Game Quiz,” by Preston Shah. Ten questions that will test your knowledge of the role-playing and gaming in this genre. Answers are elsewhere in the journal.
  • “River Gunboats: An Illustrated Encyclopaedia,” by Rob Morgan. A review and more — much more — touching on aspects of gunboat usage around the globe.
  • “Adjutant Introuvable: Auto Strategy System for Wargames,” by Nic Birt. An explanation of the system that provides strategy for a programmed opponent for solo gaming.
  • “Krafft’s Battalion at Arnhem,” by Peter R. Barkworth. Trying out solo ideas for the World War II battle between British paras and German defenders.
  • “Writing for Lone Warrior,” by Nic Birt and “Billy No-Mates: A Soloist Speaks Up,” by Kevin White. Two long-time contributors discuss why and how they game solo.
  • “Editorial,” by Rich Barbuto. The editor’s thoughts on Lone Warrior’s content and its future.

As usual, lots of interesting stuff, from various gaming periods, all served up with plenty of color photos and other illustrations. Watch for it!

 

Posted in Latest issue of LW | Leave a comment

A short book on siege mines and more

By Rob Morgan

At the moment I’m reading …

“Siege Mines & Underground Warfare”by Kenneth Wiggins. It’s a short book, published by Shire archaeology who knock out books on everything from ‘Roman Coins’ to ‘Prehistoric Houses’ and ‘Cave Art’. Only 60 pages long and at a fiver it might be considered a bit expensive for its size. However …

This is a real wargamers book. Not only that, the theme of mining and war underground in seriously confined spaces has much to offer the solo wargamer if you think carefully about it. This isn’t a review in any true sense of the word, but maybe more later.

Meanwhile, it’s a timeline book, and hint after hint follows through the pages. Beginning with mining in Antiquity, and lets face it, whenever someone has built a strong place, fort or castle, someone else has wanted to capture it. Wiggins covers the medieval period brilliantly, and there were so many attempts at mining, or undermining castles. He moves on to a particular favourite of mine, the development of the explosive mine. And then war in the Tudor period and the 17th and 18th centuries. I was reminded of the excellent fictional work (readily turned into a wargame) by Arturo Perez Reverte in his Captain Alatriste 80YW series, ‘The Sun Over Breda’ (review on the Reviews page) which turns around the capture of a Dutch fortified city by the Spanish forces of King Philip. Full of detail.

The timeline moves on to consider mining and combat underground at sieges in the Indian campaigns of the British Army and in the American Civil War, especially at Petersburg, Virginia. He ends with the Great War 1914-1918, which saw mining and bloody skirmishes under the mud of Flanders develop into one of the most savage arts of war.
A very good book, and I’ve written more than I intended to, but I hope to provide a little more wargaming opportunity for you across several periods, by using the few ‘mining’ or other suitable underground figures around, and a pack of dominoes.

Read the book.

Posted in Periods - General history | Leave a comment

Eaglewall ship models remembered

By Rob Morgan

Anyone remember them? They were among the first ever plastic wargames ship models in 1/1200th scale, back in the early 1960s. Many, and I mean many, of the wargames and modelling magazines around since then have carried hearty reminiscences and queries about the couple of dozen, maybe a few more, models which this company produced before it vanished from the scene.

Eaglewall model of HMS Ajax

Airfix Magazine and Scale Models carried long strings of correspondence about Eaglewall in the ’70s and ’80s. The Naval Wargames Society carried some a while ago. A few of the veteran gamers reading this may have some recollection of this now legendary production, and hopefully will share them.

Here, by the way, is what is certainly my longest surviving wargame model. No apologies for the paint job, this, HMS Ajax, of River Plate fame was a Christmas present in 1961.

No idea how it survived, but it has.With more repaints than the Forth Bridge. I wargamed with it not long ago (she’s usually lucky). I looked up Eaglewall on the Internet incidentally, and on E-bay a few, a very, very few of their battleship models were selling at £300 (that’s about $380-$400, I suspect).

Any criticism of Eaglewall’s mouldings, which still stand most tests, have to be tempered with the reminder that without them, naval wargaming would have been a hobby for the rich, and only by using the Collector’s quality German models of Hai and Mercator.

Anyone remember this range?

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - World War II | 2 Comments

IJNS Mikasa — The last survivor

By Rob Morgan

Take a look at the photograph. The admiral on a plinth is Admiral Togo,  the only naval commander in the 20th century to have fought two fleet actions with battleships and won both. The warship behind him is his British-built flagship IJNS Mikasa, aboard which he fought at the Battle of the Yellow Sea in May 1904, and at Tsushima in May 1905. This is a magnificent vessel, a rare survivor of a great naval age, and was the subject of a recent visit by members of my family. Keep your eye open for an illustrated article on the Mikasa in Lone Warrior, soon, together with a few solo wargame hints.

Posted in Naval gaming, Periods - Twentieth century | Leave a comment