Partizan - 22nd May 2022

Out on the road with the Northamptonshire Battlefield Society stand for the first time this year. Following Phil's stroke last year we've had to rebuild the team and revise our approach slightly. Phil was our point man on shows, using the many contacts he'd built up in his long career in wargaming and show attendance. Whilst his recovery continues he isn't back yet to firing on all cylinders, so until he is we've had to call in some new volunteers.

Vincent and Chris trying to work out where the figures go on the 6mm Edgcote model

The set up team is now me, Chris K (seated, who helped out last year) and Vincent, the Society's Treasurer. Vincent describes himself as a figure collector, although we have inveigled him into playing a game or two with the MNG. He let slip part way through the day that this was the first wargames show he'd ever been to. 

With our big display models which Phil built safely secured in his lock up, behind a lot of other stuff, I put together a 15mm model of the obscure ECW battle of Middleton Cheney, using my Peter Pig armies and some carved polystyrene. Phil's models have a lot more figures and look a lot nicer, but they really need him to set them up, and with his upper body mobility restricted they will have to wait until he has completed his recovery before we get them out again.

That said, I think this does justice to what is really a skirmish rather than a battle. The figure scale is about 1:10, and the board represents about 600 yards square. The first show with a new battle model is always a bit of a challenge whilst you work out what to say to people in terms of the battle narrative.

Chris and Vincent decided to bookend the stand with two battlefield models, which is a new configuration but worked quite well, I think.

Talking to likely hobby entrants is an important part of what we do.
 We want to make shows interesting for those who have to tag along with Dad.

We had a steady flow of visitors at both the stand and model. Vincent did sterling work as a newbie, and dealt with the interested and enthusiastic and the period bore with unremitting good humour.

I did a tour of the hall, which was replete with the normal 28mm+ table groaners.

The Billhook boys were out in force, with nice figures and a positive attitude to involving the public.

They were running a good looking sea-borne variant "Never Mind the Boathooks".

They were running a conventional game, too. I don't know what the battle is, but that's Lord Grey of Ruthin in the middle and there's lots of cavalry on the edge of the table. I suspect it might just be a small generic skirmish designed to show the rules off to their best.

Two guys were playing a Napoleonic game with a combination of Paper Soldiers and Wofun.

As you can see they had shrunk the figures right down. I think I prefer the paper ones.

WD were there with 10 minute 1812. They had a lot of people play the game, and they are well manned to take the time to talk to people.

The Peterborough boys were there with Garden Gnomes. Well, why not. They usually do something innovative. I couldn't pause for long, but it looks like they were using the paving slabs for area movement. And they have nice hats.

[On a side note, Peterborough used to be in Northamptonshire. One of the county's stately homes, Lamport, is where the English Garden Gnome Craze started in the 19th century and they have the oldest gnome in the country. The Peterborough team were not aware of this.]

Phil joined us once we were set up, courtesy of our other Chris. He did a turn talking to punters and catching up with old friends. The good wishes and concern shown by other members of the hobby was quite touching at times.

It was a very busy show. One of the organisers said they'd had one of the biggest door numbers ever. 

I checked out the trade stands, who all seemed to be doing good business. Considerable evidence of wargamers severely missing out on the opportunity to bore traders to death over the last few years.

I had no real intentions of buying much - except for one beauty I'll discuss later - and I didn't pick up any books for the first time ever. I don't get what Helion are playing at. The books on show I was interested in are cheaper online from their own website. Surely if you've carted all the stuff to the show you want to sell it don't you, not have someone go and sit down and order it on line from their mobile phone (not that I did, having left mine at home)?

The price of 1/72 plastics has spiked due to Vladimir, and I baulked at paying £9 for a box. Then I thought, get 'em while you can:

So I picked up some WSS cavalry. Not sure what units they are for yet. The dragoons were a bargain at £8.25.

Next to the Syborg 3D stand, to pick up one of these:

Whilst I have way to many armoured cars for the SCW, who doesn't want the one that looks like a jelly mould. I can justify this in case I ever do a Barcelona Anarchist game.

Finally I hadn't realised that Syborg do WW1 aircraft. They are inexpensive and only require you to glue the two halves together. So, cheaper and easier to build than the Skytrex/Red Eagle alternatives.

Consequently I bought a load to bolster the air forces for my RCW armies. All round I was pleased with my haul.

On top of all of that we had a good clear drive there and back, and were comfortably home in time for dinner.

In conclusion a good outing for the team all round. I'd have rather that we didn't have the Middelton Cheney model in a main walk way, especially as there were a few wheel chair / mobility scooter users at the show. Previous years we've been opposite our main stand, but as we had downsized the table requirement they were able to tuck us in a place other games couldn't go.

I expect we'll be back in October.

Good to be out on the road.


  1. I rather liked all the displays, including the Middleton Cheney one. Everyone was busy as I popped past, but I did wonder if it was a straightforward cavalry charge - foot regiment runs away affair, or what the story was. Plus agreed about the Syborg stuff, some interesting bits and pieces on there.

    1. Sorry I missed you. There were times when we were slack, but we were busy a lot of the time.

  2. A day out with friends is a good day!

    1. It is but that concrete floor is hard on the feet and legs if you have to stand all day. We should take carpet.

  3. I'm always slightly envious of the opportunity to attend shows like this, but always enjoy the coverage. Cheers!

  4. Have to agree with Firemonkeyboy above, but the tip on Syborg is a good one... Just off to try to check them out online!

    1. Syborg have a great range, and they'll do stuff if you email them sometimes. They can be a bit "ridgy" but they are great value.

  5. It was a great show, many thanks for the review and kind words. We started in 2019 and did a couple of local shows (based near Wallingford) before we got locked down. Now we are trying to get it all started again and find the holes in the market so we can hopefully find a way to fill them. The "ridgy" is unfortunatley an aspect of FDM printing, some people are ok with it and some don't like it. You can use emery paper or fine sandpaper to smooth the areas or I have been told that weak PVA solution works before painting. But when its mixed in with the terrain and other models it is hard to see the lines ("ridges") unless you are really close.
    Again many thanks for finding us and I hope your dice are lucky.
    Simon Ryan - Syborg 3D Printing

    1. Simon: Thanks for the comment. Always try to recommend products I've used and am happy with, especially when they are off the beaten track a bit. Filling the gaps in the market is exactly what yo udo - plus identifying gaps I didn't know I had. I only just prevented myself from buying a load of traction engines I don't really need. Or do I?

      I have written about your stuff before, like when I got the Mark V Hermaphrodites off you having spoken at Partizan. I have to say you always seems to be untiringly cheerful and helpful at shows and when contacted. I understand why the models can be "ridgy". Where I really notice it when cleaning the model up - not that this means much with these - I have smoothed them with Miliput. Otherwise I've used thick undercoat. Mostly I don't bother. As you say, when they're on the table it is hard to tell.


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