Friday, May 06, 2022

"Firing into the Brown" #16 - spares, freebies, books, and stuff..

"So Carnehan weeds out the pick of his men, and sets the two of the Army to show them drill and at the end of two weeks the men can manoeuvre about as well as Volunteers. So he marches with the Chief to a great big plain on the top of a mountain, and the Chiefs men rushes into a village and takes it; we three Martinis firing into the brown of the enemy".

Kipling "The Man Who Would Be King"

Time for another update..  and apologies, other priorities are seeing my schedule slip..   summer's here and the boat's in the water - focus has shifted.. 😀

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Gettysburg refight - picture I took at Warfare in 2107 - glorious..
 
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Books first - as they are a given..

Love these Bernie Gunther books - the way that the author manages to switch backwards and forwards in the life line of the protagonist, so in this one we move on from post-War Nazi refuge Argentina which Gunther has left in some haste, to pre-Castro Cuba where he has taken up residence, and is living quietly, that is until two significant people from his past turn up..  excellent. 

What I found most fascinating (and the flashbacks to a pre-WWII Berlin under increasing Nazi domination are brilliant in themselves) was the description of Cuba under Batista..  the increasing threat of the Castro lead revolutionaries, and the sheer amount of money and the associated corruption that flowed..  

Very good..  9/10 for me..

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Bit of a change after the previous book, but it was a Kindle bargain that arrived at the right time! 

A long time ago this series of books by Arthur Ransome featuring the Swallows and the Amazons kick started a sailing hobby for me that has lasted the better part of 50 years  - I would say Ransome has been as influential on me as Featherstone! 

So in this, the fourth in the series we are introduced for the first time to Dick and Dorothea Callum who will provide an ongoing story line through the books. It is winter in the Lake District, snow and ice all over, the lake is freezing, and Dick and Dorothea have been sent to spend the holidays with their mothers old nurse. 

While there they make friends with the Walker's (the Swallows) and the Blackett's (the Amazons) and despite the lack of boats, embark on an "arctic" adventure featuring skates, sledges, storms, and feasts...  just brilliant..  straight 10/10..

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The last post where I did an "unboxing" of the spares box seemed to chime with one of my reader (I'm absolutely delighted to say) and the Minifigs 25mm ACW stuff has now moved in it's entirety to Northern Ireland - stonking news - really pleased to say that the new owner is very much looking forward to getting them on the table, and on his blog..  I'll post here when that happens..

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With thanks to contributor Jim Walkley, how about this for a walk down memory lane for the older amongst us?? 





..and from that page.. U-RV2 I do believe on my table.... that piece has traveled to Australia and back...
 
 

...and U-RV9..


...and look'ee there - a few pieces of U-WV1 or 2 - that brick wall set was the one we all wanted - being vacuum formed you could make yards and yards of wall simply by using it as a mould for plaster of paris.... 😁
 




You'd give your right arm for either that English Civil War star fort, or the Bunker Hill fortification...



Brilliant - cheers, Jim! 
 
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 Laters, as the young people are want to say...

11 comments:

  1. I remember Bellona think I had the Menin Road diorama base .

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    1. Svjek - for a period there wasn't a single gamer in the country who didn't have at least one of their pieces.. and the Airfix thatched cottage.. :o)

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  2. Bellona provided the scenery for my earliest Airfix ACW battles - the river pieces and the wonderful intact/destroyed bridge combo were in my collection for years. Good memories.

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    1. Hi Jeremy, funnily enough that was where I obtained my bridge - an ACW game in Australia where I was living at the time, and the bridge got left behind when everyone had packed up and gone.. that dates it at least 50 years old... I do remember trying to find the owner before anyone asks! :o)

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    2. Australia????
      I thought you were Pompey through and through?

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  3. That catalogue has reared its head again eh? I think I have recently come across the catalogue of their rubber buildings etc and also have/had the Civil War Log fort and the Bunker Hill fort. The walls are still in use. What a hoarder!
    Are you time travelling now? Pleased to see there are still wargames in 2107 :-).

    I too like the Bernie Gunther books and remember reading this one. Sad that Philip Kerr is no longer with us.

    Best wishes. Jim

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    1. Hi Jim, yeah too good to leave it in the archives... :o) I was reading through the blog the other day and was taken with it (the catalogue) again... The Gunther books are a delight, as a snapshot of what it was imagined life must have been like at the time, they go a huge way towards explaining to me anyway how the Nazi's managed to come to power... be good to see that other catalogue, happy to post it here if you can scan it???

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  4. Well that was a stroll down memory lane and no mistake! Winter Holiday was one of my favourite Ransoms. Like you it triggered an interest in sailing, in my case in dinghies. The Bellona catalogue reminded me of long gone terrain from my teenage years. I had the hump back bridge (the one with the ruined version), the mortar pit and emplacement, river sections (which I never managed to paint in a way which looked like water) and a piece that doesn't seem to be in the catalogue you have shown; a ruined village diorama. That had more street fight games then I can easily remember. Nostalgia at it's best.

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    1. Hi Elenderil, another wargaming sailor! That's 3 I know of now.. I'm kind of torn as to which is my favourite Ransome, "Winter Holiday" is easy top 5, arguable top 3, I think probably my favourite is "Secret Water"..

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  5. Brings back early memories there. I think there is one of the terrain pieces up in the loft.

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    1. Hi David... it needs to come down, get spruced, and feature in your next game... :o)

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