A Beginners Guide to Wargaming
Note: As with my other guides submitted here (at LaToya's suggestion) this was first published on eBay and can also be found on my hobby site www.drumandflag.com
Over the years I've often been asked by my customers about wargaming. Many hobbyists are into other related pastimes (ie modelling, painting, reenactment, militaria, collecting, military history, battlefield tours etc...) and are interested in wargaming but don't really know where to start. This guide is aimed at helping people in this situation. I will introduce some ideas and concepts but not explore them in any great detail as there is not room in a guide like this and there are myriad publications and websites to help with further research. My interest is both personal and professional as I enjoy wargaming as a hobby and I also run an eBay shop that sells toy soldiers and wargaming accessories: Drum & Flag
Last Updated: April 2008
Solo Wargaming - A Few Tips & Ideas
Note: As with my other guides posted here (at LaToya's suggestion) this was first published on eBay and can also be found on my hobby site www.drumandflag.com.
This guide offers a few potentially left field tips on solo wargaming gained from many years of fighting battles for both sides. Wargaming as a hobby is a fairly idiosyncratic one with folk pretty free to do what they like compared with some other pastimes. Solo wargaming offers even more personal choice as you only have yourself to please. I write this guide with that in mind as I fully recognise what one person likes another may not but hopefully some of this will be of interest. Last updated: Feb 2008.
Free to choose when solo gaming. LOTR figures on square instead of round bases (GW Figures)
This is a guide to what is good about plastic toy soldiers. As with my other entries this article was first published in eBay's Reviews & Guides section and LaToya suggested posting it here too. More specifically it's focus is current production, unpainted, mainly soft plastic (as opposed to hard plastic kit type figures) sets in 1/72 scale (25mm) and 1/32 scale (54mm). I have written it for three main reasons, these being: 1.) I love plastic toy soldiers and given half a chance like to go on about them! 2.) Newcomers or potential newcomers to the hobby may be interested in learning more as to what the attraction is and 3.) Some collectors and wargamers into other materials and scales may not be aware that we are currently living through a real golden age for plastic figures that they may be missing out on. If this material appears in part familiar it may be because I have incorporated some of the text I used in a letter I wrote to Miniature Wargames a few years back in response to another reader's questions as to whether wargamers use plastic now and if 1/72 is a viable scale. My interest is both personal and professional as I enjoy collecting, painting and gaming with plastic figures and I also run Drum & Flag - the largest** toy soldier store on eBay.co.uk. Anyway here's the guide in which I have sprinkled a few pictures of figures I have painted to brighten things up and break up what would otherwise be a solid block of text. Latest update: April 2008.
Italeri 1/32 Scale Teutonic Knight
This is a brief guide to collecting Del Prado and other partwork toy soldiers. As with my other entries this article was first published in eBay's Reviews & Guides section and LaToya suggested posting it here too.
Partworks have been popular in Spain, Italy and France for a long time but its seems they have really caught on in the UK in recent years as well now. My interest is both personal and professional. I collect figures as a hobby and I also sell them in my eBay toy soldier shop: Drum & Flag.
What is a partwork? Well the format is simple - backed by heavy initial TV advertising, usually in January, partwork publishers offer heavily discounted booklets and attached related collectables. Collectors then sign up and receive usually 50 to 100 volumes every couple of weeks, over several years, at full-price mailed to them directly or ordered via a local newsagent. Extra limited editions and free gifts are also usually offered up front to hook your interest and again some way into the subscription to maintain demand. Many things are offered via partworks such as DVD's, ornaments, kit parts, soft toys and of interest here - toy soldiers.
This is a guide to painting toy soldiers offering some quick tips gained from over ten years of painting figures myself. It was first published in eBay's Reviews & Guides section and LaToya suggested I post it here too. Whilst mainly focussing on 1/72 and 1/32 plastic figures much of this information will also be relevant for metal figures too. I am not an artist or the world's best painter by any means but I can turn out figures to a pretty good standard and I thought my experience may be of interest to fellow hobbyists.
* Location. Choose somewhere to paint, ideally a desk or table at a good height by a window to get as much natural light as possible to show the true colours of the paints you are using. I use an old desk with a customised Games Workshop paint station myself. This is lit by a hobby lamp on each side fitted with blue daylight bulbs. A comfortable chair is important as painting is a time intensive activity. Also remember that accidents will happen - you will get paint on things you did not intend (including yourself) no matter how careful you are, so bear that in mind too when you are thinking about where to site yourself. Old T-Shirts or Kitchen aprons make good painting tops.
My paint station location is pictured below - note A4 white paper sheet that I actually paint on. I use scrap paper, junk mailings etc so that I don't get too much paint actually on the self-healing cutting mat work surface - rather it's on the disposable paper that also provides a good bright background to paint against. Attached to the right hand side of the desk is a small hand held vacuum cleaner. This was an excellent investment as the debris making and flocking soldiers and scenery creates is not inconsiderable and it is your enemy when you come to painting.