Thursday, 21 March 2013

WWI re-enactment, BCLM

A few weeks ago I visited the nearby Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) specifically to see two WWI re-enactment societies (The Warwicks 1914-1918 and the The Great War Society) that attended giving displays, demos etc. My dad used to work at the museum so as a family we used to have free access to the site but I decided to pay the cash for a ticket as it is then valid for a whole year.



I've deliberately altered the photos, obviously removing the colour but I've also softened the images to try and evoke period photographs. In a style reminiscent of Stalin's photograph altering censorship I have also (very crudely) removed all the other non-costumed visitors from the photographs via the magic of computer software.


All the members I spoke to are all very knowledgeable, definitely worth seeing if them are appearing or attending at a event near you.
The BCLM itself provided a very atmospheric setting for the groups. The buildings at the museum have all been taken down brick by brick (literally) from the local area and then been rebuilt on this site.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Alumwell Wargaming Show (WMMS) 2013

What better way is there to enjoy Mother's Day than to send it buying and playing toy soldiers?

Held at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton the West Midland Military Show (WMMS) is only around ten miles from where I live and has a decent mix of traders, model displays, re-enactors, demo and participation games. After bring picked up by Ade and his good lady wife from IKEA we battled our way through the snow and freezing temperatures (well it was jolly cold) to arrive at the show just after midday, with my brother Neil arriving shortly afterwards. It seemed that there was a good turn out considering the weather and the fact the show coincided with Mothering Sunday. 

Armed with a shopping list I set off hot pursuit of little lead and plastic recruits. In typical fashion it was only towards the end of the day that I remembered to take any photos.

As per usual at WMMS the gamers and modellers are a friendly bunch and there were numerous games and displays that caught my eye.  I'm not normally a fan of hex based terrain but a Spanish Civil War game using Empress Miniatures figures and terrain was particularly nice.
Spanish Civil War - Empress Miniatures
Spanish Civil War - Empress Miniatures
Spanish Civil War - Empress Miniatures
Spanish Civil War - Empress Miniatures

WWII demo game of Battle of Villiers Fossard
WWII demo game of Battle of Villiers Fossard
WWII demo game of Battle of Villiers Fossard
AWI game - STAGS & Questing Knight Games
AWI game - STAGS & Questing Knight Games
Battle of Guildford Courthouse (1781) Figures from Blue Moon

Towards the end of the day we played a very entertaining game of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (Neil and Ade of Wargaming For Fun fame) pursuing Jack the Ripper (aka 'the Butcher of Bromley-by-Bow' aka me) around the East End of London using Empire of the Dead rules from Westwind (Ade's wife Shaz didn't want to play - boo, girls are rubbish!) There was some fantastic terrain on display made by the chap running the game, Thunderchicken (not his real name I assume) which can be seen here.
During the game Jack managed to entice a poor cockney working girl to her doom whilst pushing the pursuing coppers further and further away (by wining several of the initiative phases) from the crime scenes as it was possible. A second victim was saved when Holmes disturbed the scene after fighting off Jack with a swing of her handbag. In the effort to make a quick getaway Jack managed to knock the bumbling Watson flat on his arse and give the smarty pants Holmes a good clip round the ear despite taking two gunshot wounds. I still lost the game though as Jack failed to secure four victims but it was good fun none the less. 
Holmes & Watson armed with their trusty red plastic pointy sticks
"Come here my pretty" Jack claims her first victim underneath the arches.

Super scratch-built terrain - the East End (in miniature)
I didn't manage to get everything I wanted on my list but I'm in no rush (especially considering my glacial painting efforts). My next show will probably be Derby which isn't until late September but which I suspect will come around all too quickly.
I have several posts almost ready to be published (honest) so thanks for visiting and come back soon.