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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Monday, 29 July 2013


... for Regt Nr. 1.

In the shape of one of Irregular's 'Really Useful Guns' in 42mm:

The barrel is glued for a bit of high angle fire support as I realised that I was thinking about the karst  (the rocky, limestone landscape that rises behind the old Imperial city of Trieste) while I was painting the gun (a Schneider-you-like) in good, toy soldier finish. 

In such a random fashion does the new imagi-war take shape. 

The second 42mm regiment is now based and primed, and will be in an opposing army finish. However, it will also be the case that the period nature of all the units will mean that they can fight for any side. 

Another random thought that I had regarding all this was W.E.Johns' Biggles Goes To War, which is an imagi-war from the 1930s (the book came out early in 1938) set somewhere in Mittel Europa. Biggles and crew (for the absolute best of reasons - a woman. Uh? Biggles ??) go for a bit of mercenary action. Oddly, they also found time for some adventures in Spain during the period. Biggles, presumably, had, by then, recovered from his Great War experiences which had led to his problems with whisky. I bet there are a few readers out there scratching their heads - Biggles ? Women ? Whisky ?  Actually, if you haven't read it, Victor Yeates' Winged Victory (1934) is probably the finest novel (read, semi-autobiography) of the air war, 1914-1918. Yeates was, coincidentally, a school boy chum of Henry Williamson who served right through the Great War in the trenches, and was the most prolific combatant novelist in English from that war. It's difficult to know where to start with Williamson, but if there ever was a driven, unhinged, tortured, sometimes brilliant, often dreadful, writer, it was Williamson. His experiences in the Great War entered into his very heart, soul, body, bones, and drove him to the edge. Today, if he is remembered at all, it is for his novel Tarka the Otter, and for being a lifelong supporter of Sir Oswald Mosley.

There have been requests (well, two), for a photo comparison of the 42s with the Matchbox steam lorries. So, here is one of the gunners with the Guinness steam lorry:

As you can see, not quite a match, but this is classic wargaming territory, so it looks ok to me.


  1. It looks more than ok to me too!
    Great looking gun and crew.
    Thanks for the continuing inspiration!

  2. Thanks, Alan. Yes, I'm rather enchanted by these 42s. In case you haven't noticed.

  3. They look good together. Quite close enough size wise for comfort but there is of course a long history of undersized vehicles for toy soldiers which I think looks better than the new fad of oversized vehicles with 28's.

    Nice howitzer but I do love those trucks!