Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spanish Guns & Gunners

SHQ Spanish Gunners with an ESCI gun

When I worked in the book trade I dealt with an elderly man who had served on Monty's staff during the Normandy campaign. I never met him in person as he was too frail to travel, but we spoke several times over the phone. I recall two very particular things.

1) The abuse that he heaped on me for sending him "The Full Monty" by Nigel Hamilton. I never knew elderly men knew such words. He had ordered it I hasten to add.

2) He always maintained that Eisenhower could have ended the war in six months if he hadn't tried to maintain a broad front.

I feel that in some ways I'm emulating Eisenhower's mistake as at present, I'm attempting to complete an order of battle for the Spanish army, while finishing off my Waterloo armies and struggling though my Indian and Cold War projects. It may take a while, but I have no doubt that we'll finish in Berlin.

SHQ Spanish Gunners

These are lovely little figures. They're very simple with clean lines and with very little flash. A few seconds trimming with a craft knife was all that was required to get them ready to go. I'll be packing them off to Mark shortly, but there was one problem, I had no guns. Fortunately, my researches indicated that the Spanish used Gribeauval system artillery, so I could use my surplus French guns. The first one picture above, shows an ESCI Guard Artillery gun.

This chap here required a little bit more thought. Despite being under the impression that I had many guns tucked away somewhere, I could only put my hand to one. However, there was a carriage spare from my ESCI box and I was able to wed that to a spare barrel from a Zvesda set.

It has come to my attention that regular readers of this blog have laboured under the misapprehension that General Du Gorman is a drunken, treacherous, cheese eating sybarite, whose moral turpitude is only matched by his devilish good luck.

I was shocked to learn that certain people could get such a wrong impression and wish to issue a full retraction on behalf of this blog and on behalf of the Internet in general; to anyone who may have read this blog and mistakenly assumed that General Du Gorman was a gin sodden, right wing oaf, whose professional life is devoted to the pursuit of a fraud so transparent as to make the Hitler diaries look like a piece of innocent fun and whose many tabletop victories are the result merely of treachery, underhandedness and happenstance.

An artists impression of General Du Gorman,
a mere scribble that cannot possibly hope to do justice to
the radiant inner light of man himself

What makes this misunderstanding all the more shocking is that General Du Gorman is in fact an angel who walks among us, whose sweetness and generosity makes a dark world light and shines as a beacon of hope to all his people, everywhere. A simple abstemious man who might have a glass of sherry at Christmas on returning home after entertaining the children at the orphanage with a puppet show, pausing only to mend a broken doves wing on his way.

A HAT gun from their French Horse Artillery set

I should also mention that General Du Gorman came across a HAT horse artillery gun that he had forgotten about and brought it over at last nights game. This meant that I won't have to buy another box to get that final gun. It also means that my Spanish artillery will have a suitably hodge podge appearance. On the whole I think I can write this one as a victory.

So with the Spanish artillery cobbled together and ready to go off to the painter, it looks like cavalry is the next thing on the agenda.


  1. A saint to be sure (if such are still allowed).
    Abstemious is a bit of a stretch though...
    I must tell him about the Lonely Planet's assessment of Country Cork - his respose is sure to be unshaken!

    1. To answer your question, probably not a Presbyterian saint.

  2. You'll end up in Berlin? Rooting for Napoleon then are you? (and I had you pegged as aiming for Paris!)

    I'll keep in mind that your public opinion of people appears to be susceptible to gifts. A tradionalist one might say.

    1. Rooting for The Corsican Ogre - have you take leave of your senses? Has your brain been reduced to that of a common Irishmen?

      As for your other observation - sniff, it is beneath contempt.

  3. Having fought with and against the honourable General Gorman I leap to his defence as i have never seen him with a gin glass in his hand ever, only a wine glass or beer glass which appears to refill automatically!!

    1. Did I not say that he wasn't a gin soaked oaf?

  4. Pity I rather like the sound of the misunderstood General de Gorman! Sounds like an entertaining fellow although one might want count the spoons after he had been round for tea!

    1. He is remarkably good company - which is probably why I keep him around, despite th fact that he beats me hollow.

  5. A very fine collection if guns. I hope you keep that one in it's rather enchanting shade of pale blue.

    This du Gorman fellow sounds a rum cove. Certainly doesn't sound like a Presbyterian saint. Mind you, the Presbyterians I know are a grim, pious and rather tetotalling lot.

  6. Sadly, Padre I think my guns will probably end up looking rather more grimly utilarian.

    As for Du Gormand, I can confirm that he is the hippest, jivingest most happening Presbyterian I know...