Total Pageviews


'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.'

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Nothing says 'Old School'...

... quite like a pipe, and Roco Minitanks.

These days, I smoke a good pipe only rarely, but today had a number of good stimuli for a smoke.

It was a Saturday, and Spring is really getting into its stride now, and, yesterday, on returning from work, a package was waiting on the doorstep, containing:

A marvellous ebay buy. A job lot of Roco Minitanks, costing not much over £30, or a tad more than £1 per vehicle!  Oh, joy! Oh, delight!

I've recently been revisiting various uncompleted war games projects, and there are two I'm keen to finish and bring to the table and the roll of dice. The first is the War of 1812 in 20mm, and the second is the Bay of Pigs. It must be two, or three, years since I started that, and my idea was to have a sort of retro wargames approach, using plastics and Roco Minitanks.  I'd found a couple of tanks and trucks, but  decided I could do with a few more vehicles, jeeps, trucks etc.  However, Minitanks are still as hard to find in my neck of the woods as they were in the 1970s, when almost all books and articles on modern wargaming featured Minitanks, often heavily converted. Mind you, it  was difficult to tell sometimes, given the tiny, grainy, black and white photographs of the day. A scroll through ebay revealed quite a lot of vehicles from a supplier in Germany, but with ridiculous postage of around £14 per item!! But, it also revealed this lot:

Including some still in their yellowing packaging. The kubelwagen box is marked, 3/3. I wonder if this is 3/3d, i.e., 'old' UK money, dating back to at least 1971?  

The other thing I've been doing this past week is helping my 8 year old grandson to get ready for his school's 'Rome' day.  He is going dressed as a Legionary (he decided against an Auxiliary), so I made him a wooden (hardboard) scutum:

and schooled him in the ways of Jove and the eagle.

Meanwhile, out in my garden, spring is forging ahead:

And today  I planted two roses - 'Princess Anne' and 'Lady Emma Hamilton'. The latter was not, as it should have been, bedded, but potted.


  1. A wonderful buy! The Nashorn is a real classic. I used to wonder how people in magazines were able to find so many Minitanks.

    Was it Henrie IV who said "ca vaut un pipe?"

    1. Yes, the only place I have ever seen them for sale in a shop was in Dortmund - which is a bit of a step from the West Midlands of England!
      Now, that is a question. To which I have no answer, except that I think pipe is 'une pipe'?

  2. Fantastic. How do you intend to tackle the Bay of Pigs?

    1. As simply as possible! Bit by bit, using the 'One Hour' approach.

  3. Very cool! Seeing that Roco stuff in the original packaging brings back fond memories. Nice to see a fellow pipe smoker. Like you it has become something of a rarity for me, although I do have a decent stash of pipes & tobacco squirrelled away for such a time.

    1. It does seem that a lot of second-hand Roco kit still has its packaging, even though it is very flimsy. I wonder why?
      Yes, me too, bugger the modern world. Not that long ago, I would have quite happily, and ignorantly, puffed away, day in, day out.

  4. I have a few Minitanks you are welcome to if they are of any use. I think most of the complete vehicles are US HTs. Contact me at woodyzinbox(at)gmail(dot)com if you're interested.

    Cheers, Dave

    1. That's a very generous offer, Dave! I will e-mail now.

  5. Very cool! Seeing that Roco stuff in the original packaging brings back fond memories. Nice to see a fellow pipe smoker.

    gclub online