Thursday, December 30, 2010

How this all began...

Tradgardmastare posted a comment on an earlier thread asking how I started in 18th Century India.

Reflecting on it, I can blame my grandmother! I recall being about 8 years old when I was given some old books and magazines by her to look at. I used to visit her on her farm every Saturday  and, during school holidays, Tuesdays.

I complained about being bored one day and was given access to books, magazines and old model kits left there by one of my uncles (being of good Irish Catholic stock, my grandmother had 13 children!). In that bundle was a copy of a Look & Learn Magazine from the 1960s. I was amazed because not only was the magazine older than me, but it was "cartoon" type artwork (well, not really looking back all those years) and grabbed a kid's attention. In the magazine was an article about the battle of Plassey, or another battle of the time. How the years dim the memory : )  . I was hooked. It was exotic! It had elephants!

Plassey from Look & Learn

Look & Learn was published between 1962 and 1982. It had a number of artists, some of whom went on to illustrate Ospreys. Angus McBride and Gerry & Ron Embleton are three such artists that spring to mind.

In the pre-internet days, and living in the country, it was not easy to find further information. I did find some short articles and encyclopaedia entries.

Then in the 80s there were a series of articles in Miniature Wargames and Military Modelling on the period.

Military Modelling with Buxar article

 I was hooked again. And I had been a gamer for a few years by this time. I needed an army! So I went 6mm, on the theory that I would need far too many Indian troops and that a larger scale was cost prohibitive. I used Heroics & Ros initially, then Irregular. I painted thousands of these guys, well, it felt like it. I found remnants of the army today and some pictures of it follow:-

East India Company Battalion
Aldercron's Regt

Aldercron's Grenadiers

Grenadiers from behind - did I really paint that cap lace!?

British Regulars in line (not many really...)


You can't have enough sepoys!

Indian artillery

I don't think that I even had rules for it - or they may have been TableTop or Newbury. Either way, I can't recall ever playing.

Many years later, Might & Reason became the flavour of the group. An Imagi-nation campaign was set in Pangea. In the exotic East was Golconda. It was Indian. It was mine! Shame that the rules punished an essentially all irregular army ( at least that's my view!) and that the Moghul Indian List was, well, not correct!!

Golconda in Pangea - a work by Akula_au and the Cardinal

And of course, there was Frank from the Adventures In Lead blog who convinced me to blog this! Without his assistance this blog wouldn't exist.

Having found most of the 6mm stuff, I think I will rebase them and post up pictures when done.


  1. Wonderful obseesion,, the SYW, came out of Barry Lyndon in is interesting how these things begin..

  2. Really good to see how this began Dave. Congratulations on a great project and showing such determination and strength at seeing it through. I find it such a fascinating and colorful period as well, and I think others agree. I bet you will have inspired many similar projects once this is all done!


  3. I remember a weekly magazine adaptation of Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples, that had a diorama of the battle of Plassey made up of flat figures.

    Would love to find that pic again.

  4. Thanks for answering my question with your super post. look and learn was fantastic.

    It is interesting how one's interest start. I was given an annual called something like "Boy's World" in the 1960s/early 70s and it contained a comic strip version of the fall of Constaninople in 1453- I still recall the frame of the last Emperor meeting going to meet his end defending the city.That fuelled a life long interest for me...
    best wishes

  5. Hi Alan,

    It's strange how something like that grabs a young boys attention! Something strange and exotic compared to one's own circumstances I suppose.

    I also blame my grandmother for my love of Norman Wisdom due to one of those Boys Annuals!


  6. Army lists are a "starting point" . . . if your research says that they are wrong, then create a proper list . . . and explain why to your opponents.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts in the coming New Year.

    -- Jeff

  7. Ah "Look and Learn" - fantastic.... and still available on the web...

  8. Hi Jeff,

    Have done! Problem is, my list is probably worse than the offical list : )


  9. Excellent stuff! I loved "Look and Learn" as a kid too. The illustrations drew me right into the stories. I also gamed with 6mm in Ancients and Colonial Sudan, so I know the appeal of these tiny men. =)