Sunday, 8 July 2012

ANF Benefactors

The three amigos of the ANF consider ourselves fortunate to have ‘discovered’ one another. None of us alone would have been able to put together a game such as our Borodino 2012 scenario. Julian and I, who allowed ourselves to be ‘led astray’ with other periods and scales are playing catch-up to Mark’s consistent focus on 1/72nd and productive painting effort on, chiefly, Napoleonics. Complementary to our combined efforts are the contributions from those whom we call our “benefactors”; Ralph Fisher, P.T. Hine and Jason Soffe, three people who have helped us immensely in our ability to plan and to stage our games thus far—and into the future.
Benefactor 1: Ralph Fisher
Our first benefactor is my father, Ralph Fisher (RAF) who, during the mid- to late-90s, when in his seventies, decided to have a go at painting some of the numerous unpainted 1/72nd figures that we (chiefly I) had collected. He had previously left the painting to me, not having confidence in his own ability to do it. Well, not only did he find that he was able to paint them easily, he enjoyed the task and, in my opinion, did a fine job! He rapidly expanded the division-sized French and Anglo-Allied armies that I had managed to paint as a teenager to corps-sized armies of French, British, Spanish and Portuguese troops that he used in solo-games and occasional games that we had when able to catch up. Now, since his ‘retirement’ from the hobby, these figures have come to me and have formed the basis of much of the armies for our larger Peninsula battles, Tamames, Fuentes de Oñoro and Albuera and were also used in our games of battles from the 1807 campaign—especially the white-coated French regiments.
RAF's white-coated French and Loyals of Ferdinand VII at Tamames 
His French infantry at Eylau...

... and again here

Albuera featured figures from both RAF and P.T. Hine. The former's British and Loyal Lusitanian and the later's Portuguese are seen here
Benefactor 2: P.T. HIne and the NWS
Our second benefactor is someone we know only as P.T. Hine. This generous man donated his entire collection of 1/72nd French, British, Spanish and Portuguese figures to the Napoleonic Wargaming Society in Perth. They, not having anyone in the club who uses that scale, immediately thought of us and asked me if we’d like them; “absolutely”, I said. I expected to get a box with a heap of unpainted figures. Imagine my surprise when they handed to me two tool-boxes filled with beautifully painted Airfix 1/72nd figures (in need of a bit of sorting, re-gluing and minor touching-up) plus several old shirt boxes filled with unpainted Arifix 1/72nd Napoleonic figures. it was Christmas in July last year! These figures were also invaluable for Tamames, Fuentes de Oñoro and Albuera and to bolster our French army, especially for Eylau.
P.T. HIne's French chasseurs à cheval at Eylau

Oudinot's grenadiers (c/- P.T. HIne) at the battle of Nehrung
Benefactor 3: Jason Soffe
Our final benefactor is Jason Soffe, an Englishman abroad in France. Like me, Jason had tried unsuccessfully to sell figures through eBay. In my case it was 15 mm ACW, in his case over 5 000 unpainted Zvezda figures (Napoleonic, mediaeval and Great Northern War (GNW)). By an amazing bit of serendipity, I happened to see Jason’s post on the Hät Forum, asking if anyone was interested in buying the figures, the day that he put it there and in the few hours before it was taken down and he was black-banned—a bit heavy handed there HatBlogger! I contacted him, we exchanged a few emails, he quoted us his extremely reasonable price, I checked with Mark and Julian and we decided to purchase the lot (French Nap for me, Russian Nap & mediaeval for Mark and GNW for Julian)! We now have luxury amounts of Zvezda 1/72nd figures, some of the best cast plastic figures available, for our Napoleonic games and, once we let Julian off the ‘Napoleonic bicentennial leash’, games of GNW (and War of the Spanish Succession). Jason’s figures will feature strongly in our Borodino game, especially the Russian grenadiers and Cossacks and the French-allied artillery and infantry.
The eagerly awaited packages arrive from France

Inside one of the boxes, part of Jason Soffe's collection

French (in blue) and Saxons (in yellow) sorted (over 1 000 figures), plus a few GNW Russians in grey

Napoleonic Russians and mediaeval figures sorted (~1 500 there)

Enough GNW figures for any battle!
So gentleman, here’s a great big thank you to the three of you. Hopefully it gives you some pleasure to know that the figures that you collected and/or painted are ‘riding again’!


  1. What a fortunate arrangement for both you and your benefactors! When I replaced the Scruby miniatures that formed the bulk of my original French Napoleonic army, I gave them away to a deserving gamer - over 1,000 of them.

  2. Thanks both for commenting. Yes, we have been extremely fortunate to have been given such a 'leg up'. It has built nicely on our combined capacity. Plenty of painting to keep us going until we leave this mortal coil!