Friday, March 16, 2007

More Teasers and a trip to the "smoke"....

Have added another two teasers to the Teasers page - these two date from May and June of 1978 so are quite early in the series - they comprise a test of the "Wagon Train" scenario, and teaser No. 3 "Advance Guard Action". This latter one certainly looks interesting....

On Wednesday, for reasons of work, I was in London to attend a meeting - the meeting was in the St. Katherine's Dock (East end docks area - mightily bashed during the war), and on the understanding I don't get up to London much (and am therefore easily pleased) I was pleasantly surprised by the area.... best by a long shot however, is coming out of the bowels of the earth (a.k.a the London Underground) to come face to face with the Tower of London, with Tower bridge behind... cracking site, and one that immediately brings to mind new wargame periods... Senlac Hill, shield walls, and Norman Knights.... are all wargamers similarly fixated, such that any walk, visit, or trip, is immediately thought of in terms of military history, and the aptness to the wargame/painting table, I wonder?!!

Either way, happily the meeting finished reasonably early, and I found myself with a couple of spare hours. Given I've always wanted to look round the National Army Museum, I headed on over to Chelsea for a visit..

Thoughts??

  • You certainly can't fault the location of the building - the museum is in Chelsea, not far from Sloane Square, certainly one of the more expensive parts of London... it's located at the end of a row of Georgian buildings that form the Chelsea Hospital (of Chelsea Pensioners fame); the museum itself is a bit of a concrete monstrosity, however..
  • The displays/content were OK - I've been wanting to go for some time, so maybe I had built my hopes up, but I have to say that my main impression is that the displays, and the way they are put together, is a little "disjointed" .. the museum uses "themes" as a way of hanging together the displays - at the moment the themes, or "exhibitions", are The Making of Britain, Changing the World, World Wars &
    Fighting For Peace, but there is also a standalone exhibition based on the Somme.
  • Of the exhibitions, for me the best were "the Making of Britain" and "Changing The World" as these cover off my main wargaming interests - in the former there was some (fairly limited) coverage of the wars of Marlborough, and in the case of the latter the Campaigns in the Sudan.
Highlights were -

  • Siborne's diorama of "Waterloo" - it is worth going to the museum for this ALONE! Quite astonishing.. at least 20 feet by 20 feet, and covered in thousands of (I guess) approx. 6mm home cast figures...
  • Lots of diorama's - plenty comprised of work/figures by the likes of Suren, Tradition etc. Rorkes Drift springs to mind
  • A full size mannequin of a private of the 10th Sudanese Infantry regiment at Omdurman - brilliant to see close up, and to see the colours of the component uniform parts...
  • Lots of paintings - especially the one's depicting battle scenes...
In summary? Well worth a visit, it does suffer in comparison to the Imperial War Museum, but then it's a fraction of the size, and the aims are different - the IWM covers the study of war, the National Army Museum is there to give the history of the British Army.

2 comments:

  1. Steve,

    You're lucky. Contrast your situation (getting to visit these museums) with so many of the rest of us who never get that chance.

    For example, I live on a small island off the west coast of Canada (population around one thousand) . . . there isn't even anywhere to go out for dinner on the island . . . and we certainly don't have any museums.

    So enjoy your opportunities.


    -- Jeff

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  2. ...you're absolutely right you know... trouble is we get so blase, and used to having museums readily available that we might not treat them with the respect they deserve.... having said all that... if you were in London, with limited time available, hadn't read my Blog, but was faced with a choice of the Army Musueum or the Imperial War...????? :o)) The wargamers answer of course is to reply "what time constraint, I'll go to both"...

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