Tuesday 27 September 2011


I am due to semi-retire at the end of next March and my wife tells me that I need something to take up my time. Over the years I have dabbled in various types of modelmaking, whether it be railways (where I degenerated to narrow gauge to 7mm scale on 16.5mm track) or boats (I currently have a pond yacht awaiting restoration and a 1.72 scale wooden static Flower Class Corvette that has been ongoing since about 1979). Years ago I dabbled in 'toy' soldiers, joining the BMSS (lapsed) and never winning their competitions, and having a small collection of Hinton Hunt Napoleonics (long gone, I'm sorry to say, before the days of internet auctions) and all the usual wargames titles. Although I never actually useed these they are still on my shelves.

Rooting round in the loft recently I was sidetracked by a wooden box that had the lid nailed on. This seemed unusual so I opened it and found an assorted collection of figures. These were military and civilian, a mix of makes, ages and composition, and sight of them rekindled a spark. Also in the box were a few scraps of paper I'd scribbled notes about a fictional set of countries down on.

These countries were of middle European origin, the geography being that of the Counties of the East Midlands (Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and rutland) and named after TV series or films of the era (Rubovia, Borsovia, Grand Fenwick, etc.), You'll hear more of these later.

I'm now in the process of surfing the net about wargaming (the wife says it's too quiet), finding rules, looking at figure ranges ( ain't there a lot), scales and periods, to find out what it's all about. I've been posing questions on various sites, and will spend some time sorting out my intentions. When these are finalised I'll be back, if not before.

Plea. A Suffolk gamer prepared to help out with a beginner would be welcomed with open arms, though I have discovered over the years that I am not a 'club' person I'll give it a go.


ps - The Blog title. I thought quite hard about this, and find that STEAM, STEEL AND TORPEDOES, while being the title of a book on the early steam navy, also reflects my three areas of interest qite well.


  1. Welcome to the merry & friendly world of Imagi-Nations!
    A good idea indeed, if you are tempted by different periods, to 'create' incarnations of the same fictional countries in these diverse times: the same historical background serves in all your projects, unless a major political revolution occurred there is a 'comfortable' continuity in the flags and the colors of uniforms... No dispersion, source of discouragement.

    For several reasons the historical period par excellence for Imagi-Nations is indeed the 18th C., the 'Lace Wars'. Re. your 'alternate' Victorian projects surprisingly, despite well-known literary precedents such as Ruritania (search in the 'Files' of the Old School Wargaming Group for the quasi-academic study of 'poros326') I know of very few blogs devoted to such. Seemingly 'Victorian' players departing from 'historical accuracy' are more at ease with Belgians on Mars ('Victorian Science-Fiction' is rather popular) than Ruritanians on Earth!

    For the 18th C. I suggest you explore the 'Emperor vs Elector' collective blog, the 'dazibao' for rulers of Lace Wars Imagi-Nations.
    I'm retired *also* from active gaming, but my blog, Monte-Cristo, at least offers a library of links that could interest you.


  2. I just had a look at your blog, Joppy, and enjoyed it immensely.
    I liked your use of Queen Elizabeth. I have two of the hollow cast figures, both missing their saluting arms. I want to trace the arm but I could not find one from London Bridge collectables. What arm did you use?
    I look forward to your posts.
    Keep up the great work. James O'Connell (Quantrill's Toy Soldiers).