The Army of Georland

The Army of Georland

Saturday, 31 December 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Georland...

Progress report for 2016

For the last few months I have been concentrating on painting and organising my Minifigs S Range Franco Prussian War figures with the intention of using them for Georland wargaming (as well as for Franco Prussian War).

Originally I had intended to use my existing and large collection of S Range Crimean figures, with British for Georland, and Russians for their opponents, supported by the FPW Germans.

However, as the FPW collection grew in size I decided to use it instead. This is mainly because the original collection of George Keef were Franco Prussian War figures of the time which were bought up cheaply. Obviously there are compromises to be made in identifying units designated as Highlanders or Grenadier Guards with French types, but this somehow seemed true to George Keef's original figures and therefore appropriate.

(Of course I could have taken this further, e.g. by using Irregular Miniatures Shiny Toy Soldiers range, but issues of cost and space rules this out). If I was starting from scratch and money was no object then I would have loved to go with Spencer Smith Classic Range, although the idea of gluing all those arms on would put me off.

I think a lot of any wargames project depends on your aesthetic - the look and feel of the thing - and I think I have got this sorted out. I am very happy with the S Range figures; they are simply block painted, with unflocked bases. Figures are on individual MDF bases, 20 x 20mm for foot and 20 x 40mm for mounted figures. Exceptions are generals and some foot unit command stands, on round bases of different sizes denoting rank.

Figures are then placed in movement trays, accommodating 60 x 40mm internally for infantry and cavalry, and 80 x 40mm for artillery (gun and four crew). The basic cavalry unit is the quadron, with two trays of three figures each (total 6) and infantry are 24 - four trays of 6. This allows for casualty removal and fits well in the storage I am using for the figures. The movement trays can accommodate blanks - MDF bases of the correct size - if I don't have the exact number of figures for a unit. A small number of light units are using 20mmx 100mm movement trays.

I have decided I will be using a hex based set of rules to de developed from Command and Colours Napoleonic. I hope this will only need a few tweaks to ranges etc but I haven't started work on this yet. I also haven't started in sorting out scenarios and orders of battle from the Georland Journal, or working out which Georland units my FPW figures can represent.

I have a Corsec Engineering fleece mat - open fields design with a 6" hex overlay. I am waiting for some 1" tall MDF hexes for hills, and have also found some 4" tall polystyrene hexagon cake making blanks. These are ever so slightly smaller than 6" but I hope have potential for providing higher hills, either as is or by carving with a serrated knife.

Finally I have been collecting from Ebay built HO gauge German railway scenery kits which look generally suitable for around 1870. I don't mind then being in a smaller scale than the figures - I have always been comfortable with 15mm buildings with 20mm figures, for example. "Proper" 25mm buildings would be too big for my table and the railway models option probably gives a wider choice of suitable buildings. Most of these buildings are by Vollmer, although one or two are Kibri.

Headquarters or hospital building

Grand houses

Apartment Buildings

Factory, chimney and houses

I am also photographing the troops, but my camera lights can only be used for 10 minutes at a time so this is slow going. I will be posting pictures here, and on the Vintage Wargaming and Lone S Ranger blogs, so they should be hard to miss.

The plan is to start gaming in January or February.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Graham Lay - a true gentleman

I was saddened yesterday to hear of the recent death of Graham Lay, announced by the BBC on last night's Antiques Roadshow broadcast.

Graham was the programme's expert who recorded the segment with Oliver Keef on the Georland Journal and toy soldier collection.

I never met Graham but I did correspond with him by email when trying to contact the Keef family through the programme, which resulted in the transcription of the Journal  and in this blog. He was encouraging and enthusiastic where he really didn't need to be. I only had a little contact with him but he was an impressive person and I shall miss both him and his knowledge displayed so widely on the programme.

May he rest in peace.