Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Border Reivers, faded fashion icons

on the catwalk of wargaming..

Wargaming is just like fashion. At least that is what I like to think on occasions. Especially at a party, in a bar or some other social gathering. You are there talking to that well dressed stylish good looking woman about women rights and solving world problems. Or just your favorite TV show if you prefer. At some point she noticed that flick of blue paint on your hand (yes from that last little thing you had to finish before you left) and there you are explaining the world of wargaming. Real simple, real easy, no nerd stuff, no dipping methods (do color wheel if you want to show off). Now most woman, if not all, are very interested (or polite) and you need to make sure you are not getting overenthusiastic. At that point you tell the fashion story.

You see, in essence we share the same passion. Wargaming is just like fashion. We have color trends, use different materials every year and follow designers of which you have good ones and the ones you don´t like. We also have big shows in London where new models are presented. OK, our models are

 somewhat smaller but it is the same. They are dressed up by world class master painters in our case and put on sale. Then we all buy the goods taking them home assuming they look exactly as good when you dress them up... You see, same with fashion. 
Now how you are going to save yourself out of this is up to you but I will give some pointers in future posts.

But I must point out now there is one difference. We wargamers surely like well dressed beautiful little models. But in our case it is the effort we put in that counts in the end, as long as we have fun. With fashion however, we demand a result :-)  

We have seen a lot of fashion trends in wargaming over the years. Magic dips, plastics, foundry, tufts, unfinished ranges from manufacturers. You name it. Some stayed, some disappeared only to revive a couple of years later.

This brings me to one of those trends I remember from five years ago. A manufacturer started to produce a nice line, presented them well and magazines were loaded with articles. Demo games were played all over the conventions and all of a sudden everybody in our group had his own Peel tower and our Border Reivers project was born. Played a couple of games with these but we had a ruleset that did not suit out gaming style. Too many complex tables. The magazines and shows now featured other stuff so..bye Border Reivers, next please.

Anyway long ministory to put a couple of pictures of 28mm Border Reivers online. Other faded periods follow soon as well as new ACW (seems to be fashionable now) and Napoleonic project in March.
Miniatures originally Vendel  but after some googling it now seems to be in the hands of Sgt Major Miniatures. Had never heard of them before.



  1. I must admit I had some of these but to use as portuguese in Japan, I think the latest fashion are zombies. Good post looking forward to more.

  2. Thx Angry Man. So far I enjoy blogging and have lots of plans. Noticed this trend yes. Pretty impressive Zombiecity you have BTW!

  3. Hi Michael,
    Love the bit about explaining your hobby to a young woman of an evening.
    Never have I ever done this!
    When I was a young lad all I did was play different sports and the ladies where happy that I was fit and healthy looking and my painting of toy soldiers was a dark secret I kept to myself. As I got older and thought about settling down I had to think about how you explain to a lass that you spend hours upon hours painting little men and building miniature buildings (I did find that ladies from Europe and beyond are far more tolerant than any British girls I have met), I think it's because having hobbies other than Football or Rugby is not so mainstream here now. I am not alone in this thinking as a lad at our club had the same experience as myself.
    Thankfully my wife is very understanding with the little piles of soldiers lying around (or so she lets me think?). very nice figures and interesting thread.

  4. Used to play Rugby as well Paul and that is as mainstream as wargaming here in The Netherlands :-)
    Bit joking around but as many others I did not speak about it very often. I found out later that was unnecessary..As said, always nice reactions and funny conversations.

  5. You are obviously a more handsome man than I!

    I didn't know rugby was very common in the Netherlands?

  6. No, it isn't. Attempt to be ironic. Must be my bad usage of the English language....

  7. Excellent post. And how true about the story you told concerning the painting of toy soldiers. I recently started painting and my son's to be bride thinks I'm foolish & a waist of time. My regret is not having enough cash to keep myself busy. I love the Border Reiver figuers, and don't remember where I saw them but hope to get some someday.

  8. NIce work! I got to see some of the border forts and the riever hideouts and trails while hiking the Hadrian's Wall path a few years ago. Fascinating bit of history.