Props: Canadian National Telegram from 1931(ish)

Enjoying the now-disappeared sunshine that we had here a week or so ago, I went for a bike ride and came across a fairly common sight in any city: boxes of stuff left on the curb. These boxes were of a slightly different breed. Rather than the usual pile of broken student stuff, these looked awfully like my grandfather’s basement once did. My curiosity led to me root around a little, and lo did I find but this: A blank telegraph form from around 1931.

Front of the Telegraph
Front of the Telegraph
Back of the telegraph
Back of the telegraph

(I have the full form scanned at 300 DPI but it is more than 50mb large in that size. The above images are smaller but still at 300 DPI)

Dating is a little hazy, but I surveyed the few others I could find online. These facts quickly became clear:

1. Canadian National Railways (parent of Canadian National Telegraphs) came into existence in 1918 but didn’t truly exist as a railway until when they took over Canadian Northern Railway in 1922, who had previously taken control of Great North Western Telegram. Notice the similar logo?

Great North Western Telegram from 1917
Great North Western Telegram after the 1917 Halifax Explosion.

2. W. G. Barber was appointed General Manager at some point in 1923 or 1924. Canadian National Railways Systems 1923 Annual Report listed C. E. Davies as Acting General Manager, Telegraphs, and the 1924 report lists W. G. Barber. (All can be found on McGill University’s excellent Canadian corporate annual reports)

3. The 1930 Report is the last to list Barber as General Manager, but the 1931 is missing the executive list and by 1932, D. E. Galloway is now listed as Vice-President in charge of Telegraphs

4. Also in 1924, CN acquired some telegraph lines here in British Columbia. This is likely what led to the advertisement on the bottom of this form

5. In 1926, the form looked almost the same (source):

1926 Canadian National Telegraph Form
1926 Canadian National Telegraph Form

6. However, by the 1940’s the form cited D. E Galloway rather than our now forgotten Barber (source): 1943 Telegram7. All of this lead me to the holy grail: an identical copy of the telegram form I have (source):

Telegram-Bennett1Enjoy. Hope you get some good use of this.

Interwar Iraq (and elsewhere)

I’ve previously posted images from the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archive’s Flickr account, but they’ve just uploaded nearly one thousand images from a former RAF member who served post-WW1 in Iraq, elsewhere in the Middle East and in the UK.

The full collection starts here on Flickr and goes for 13 pages so far.

Here’s a random selection of images that caught my eye on a first run through the collection!

Armoured car


Palestine: Vickers Vernon which took me from Cairo to Baghdad

Refueling my machine in the Serai

Lots more great images in that collection, head over to check it out!

Cossacks, Dragons, Cavemen and Others…

I’ve had a bit of a slowdown in painting and general wargaming involvement lately; partly this is because I haven’t had a game of anything in ages, and partly it’s been down to my painting bench being a horrifying clutter of finished models, scrap and offcuts left over from scenery projects, real-life clutter like spare sunglasses, and general disarray… so this evening I sat down to get it all sorted out.

The finished figures went into cases finally, then I cleared one section of the desk at a time, ruthlessly threw away all the garbage (even most of the offcut bits that “might be useful one day”..) and imposed some order on the place.

My painting and scenery desk, cleaner and more organized than it's been in ages!

A quick tour, from the left rear corner… the black caps are FW & Rowney artist’s acrylic inks, the white caps are my ever-growing Reaper Master Series paint collection, and there’s a random assortment of GW, old Ral Partha and other paints in the gap between the inks and the Reaper paints. The good paintbrushes live in the old superglue bottle at centre, with the new superglue lurking behind. The round white cookie tin is the tin of tools – Xacto knives, needle files, old beaten up paintbrushes, tweezers, and on and on. Finally in the back right, that small box has spare Xacto blades, putty, glues and other tools.

Front left has my painting swatches (very useful strips of white card with small rectangles of most of the colours I own painted on and labelled), scrap paper to take notes on paint schemes, then the random assortment of miniatures around the cutting mat that give this post it’s title. There’s a Reaper dragon, Russian Civil War Cossacks from both Copplestone and Brigade, some Copplestone cavemen, four Pulp Figures deck guns, and a few random figures just to round out the collection. On the right is my painting palette (a used CD) and a folded paper towel to wipe brushes on.

I’ve decided that one of this summer’s projects is going to have to be a shelf set of some kind to go at the back of my painting desk and give me space to better organize the paints and other stuff. Hopefully a cleaned up and reorganized painting area will get me applying the brush to miniatures again, I’d like to finish the Cossack cavalry in the next couple of weeks for a mid-June RCW game!

Sales of Possible Interest

A quick late night post to alert faithful readers to two short-duration sales of possible interest.

First, in honour of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, TooFatLardies has 25% off everything except figures until next Thursday the 31st May. A grand chance to stock up on that TFL rulebook you’ve been considering, or grab a couple of their excellent Specials, which are stuffed full of all sorts of goodness. I’ve just topped up my collection of Specials, so I now own everything TFL has ever published for Through the Mud & the Blood…

Secondly, in honour of the American Memorial Day weekend, Brigade Games, maker of (among a huge list of other things!) excellent Russian Civil War 28mm figures, have a deal until the 28th May: orders over $30 US can get a 10% discount by plugging the code “HONOR” (note American spelling…) in while you’re completing your transaction. I won’t be personally taking advantage of this one, but if you’ve been thinking of a new RCW force, or something else from that huge list of good stuff Brigade sells, now might be a good time!

Speaking of Brigade, I badly need to finish the long review article I’ve got on their Storm in the East RCW/WW1 Eastern Front figures. You’ve seen them here as my White Russian forces, but they’re nowhere near as well known as Copplestone’s famous Back of Beyond range. There are some very nice figures in the Brigade range, though, as nice as anything Copplestone put out, and they fit together beautifully on the tabletop. I’ll make time early next week to put the finishing touches on that writeup and get it published here.

Have an excellent weekend, no matter what your excuse for a party is!

Horse Painting

As I predicted when I linked to it, the very nice Games Workshop tutorial on painting horses has vanished from their website, which is a shame. Thankfully, there’s other good resources out there for horse colours and markings.

Via Wikipedia, a useful little graphic of the stripes, blazes and other markings horses can have on their heads. A scattering of this sort of thing amongst your cavalry really adds character.

First of all, Wikipedia’s very useful article on Horse Markings has great diagrams of the variety of face, leg and body marks horses can have, and the Equine Coat Colourarticle, while not as nice as the markings one, at least has some good pictures of varieties of horse colour.

Veni Vidi Vici has some scans from an old children’s book of horses that nicely lays out the basic colours the beasts can have.

Steve Balagan has found some very nice photographs of horses to illustrate his Wargamers Guide to Horse Painting with, too.

All of this is, of course, in aid of me adding some 28mm cavalry to my Russian Civil War forces. More on that soon, I hope!

Oh deer! Megamini’s ugulates completed

Always looking for interesting new miniatures, I stopped at one of the local gaming stores the other day, Curious Comics, and I saw these deer and I just had to have them. Not only am I looking for obstacles for a racing game that I am designing (road pieces are on the way, inspired by this Lead Adventure thread), but at my work I am currently working on deer management.

MegaMinis deer
MegaMinis deerMegaMinis deer

These particular deer are part of MegaMini’s rather large animal range, some of which you can in their Animals catalogue (PDF). You get five animals, one buck and four antler-less animals. The Megamini’s catalogue claims that the feeding animal is the doe while the smaller one are fawns, but the size difference really isn’t large enough for me.

Buck and does.
Buck and does.

Given the inconsistent quality of MegaMinis, these deer are pretty good. The castings were quite clean and the two-piece buck fit well together. Their size is pretty good for deer too, although their large bases make them quite tall once you place them on a 1 1/4″ washer like I did.

Lastly, this allowed me to try out my new Canon 60mm macro lens for the first time, the results of which you can see below:

Buck detail
Buck detail

Russian Civil War Sailors (and post #200!)

I speed-painted these guys in about two evenings back in March so they could add a bit of colour to the Russian Civil War game I ran at Trumpeter Salute, but haven’t gotten photos of them until now.

The figures are Copplestone’s Bolshevik Sailors, although at this point they could fight for either side; the Whites had sailor-infantry too, although nowhere near as well known as that of the Reds. I painted them up in fairly pristine naval uniforms, which is probably slightly more Hollywood than historical, although the various naval units were known to cling to their unique insignia and uniforms in the field — they did have a reputation to maintain, after all! I have to give credit to other people who’ve painted these figures up beautifully, especially over on Lead Adventure, as I cribbed freely from their photographs to get these sailors looking good and fairly accurate.

A section of Russian sailors for my RCW forces. All figures by Copplestone. Click for full-size, as usual.

The colourful naval uniforms help break up the unrelieved khaki mass of my Reds; my Whites get their colour from the plaston of Cossack infantry that forms about half of my current White. The sailors will get another round of highlighting at some point, likely when I paint up the new sailors I recently ordered from Copplestone. The faces and blue uniform items especially could do with another highlight. Still, not bad for pre-convention speed painting, I think!

Two Hundred Posts!

This post also marks the 200th post here on the Warbard! Not bad for less than 18 months of activity in this format, is it? We had a big burst of activity right at the beginning as I turned content from the old site into posts and caught up on a backlog of stuff I’d never documented, but still the average is somewhere around three posts per week.

That’s 200 posts published (plus about a dozen in-progress ones lurking in the background), 250-odd images, 60 or so comments (about two-thirds from actual readers, the rest from myself or Corey replying to those posts) and 5000+ spam comments, only a few of which ever actually got out into the site, the rest died in Akismet or the moderation queue.

Onward and upward; here’s to the next two hundred!

Armstrong-Whitworth Armoured Car, Finished

Finally got the Russian Civil War Armstrong-Whitworth Armoured Car from Copplestone completed and photographed. The new monitor and computer I set up ten days ago helps hugely with good photos, not only is processing them faster the new brighter monitor makes contrast and colour balance easier to sort out. (oh, and I remembered how to set custom white balance on my camera again, which always helps picture quality and reduces the amount of work you have to do on the computer afterward…)

Anyway, the Russian armoured car “Freedom!”, suitable for appearing on nearly any side of the Russian Civil War, all finished and ready for the tabletop:

Side and front views of the Copplestone Armstrong-Whitworth a/c; the priest is a Brigade Games 28mm figure.
Oblique view of the car. Most of the weathering is pastel chalk dust.

Two related links, as well. Via Lead Adventure, a very, very high quality (and free!) booklet on vehicle weathering. Most of the techniques aren’t new, but it’s great to have them clearly illustrated in a free, high quality PDF.

Via GWP, this page on Austin armoured cars, mostly focused on the ones that wound up in Polish service but of course it talks about the ones built in Russia that were captured by the Poles. Great photos, including some unique ones I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Links of Interest, 14 May 2012

This should be worth watching: Curt of Analogue Hobbies is beginning a Great War in Greyscale project. Most figures in greyscale, officers in a very dramatic desaturated “chiaroscuro” colour scheme, and (hopefully!) greyscale terrain as well. There have been other greyscale wargaming projects out there (Curt links to a couple) and I’ve seen some very dramatic dioramas done that way, too. It’s been something I’ve considered off and on (it certainly fits with my usual pulp/interwar/WW1 focus) but have never done anything about. I’ll be watching Curt’s project with great interest!

Over on the always-excellent Lead Adventure Forum, Dr Mathias is not only winning the current Lead Painters League but has produced a very fine tutorial on big jungle-canopy trees that has me itching to clear my bench and get some scenery built. I even have a small tube that used to hold small glowsticks that could be the first tree trunk…

To round out this post, another tutorial posted on LAF, Elladan’s inspiring Making of a Teddybear-fur Mat, which is also posted over on his own website. If you’ve never seen Elladan’s website before, get over there and have a look around. All sorts of awesome stuff, and more fake-fur mat work over there too.

Books from Naval & Military Press

Back in April I made an order to Naval & Military Press, a UK-based specialty publisher with a focus on military history. The books arrived last week and I’ll do full reviews of the books in the upcoming weeks, but I wanted to do a quick writeup of NMP themselves and a first-look sort of quick summary of my new books!

NMP were having an Easter sale, with quite spectacular discounts on everything in their catalog, so I jumped on the chance to get a few books I’d noticed in their selection that nobody else had. I thought I had seen one particular title in their catalog that I couldn’t find again, so I fired off an email asking if it actually existed, or if I was mistaken. Three business days later, with time running out on the sale and still no reply, I fire off a second email… two business days after that, on the last day of their sale, I still had no reply, so I went ahead and made the order anyway, a bit irritated at the lack of communication.

I still haven’t ever gotten a reply from NMP. Frustratingly, about four hours after making my order I got the first mass-mailout marketing email from NMP, which I’d opted into when I made my order. They seem to send out at least two advertising emails a week to their mailing list, but apparently that’s all they use email for, as they can’t seem to find the “Reply” button when potential customers send them one!

I got an email about 24hrs after my order saying my order had been “processed”, so I figured that was it in the mail, and started wondering how long Surface Shipping would take. I was not best pleased over two weeks later (11 business days later!) to get another email saying my order had been “shipped”… apparently “processed” didn’t mean what I thought it meant. Since when does it take 11 days to tuck five books into a box? If NMP were waiting for an out-of-stock item to finish up my order, fair enough, but an email to that effect would have been nice.

My order actually shipped on the 27th of April and I got it here on the 10th of May. As I said, I’d just paid for Surface Shipping, books being heavy and me being cheap, so no complaints there, but that’s down to the Royal Mail and Canada Post apparently playing well together.

So, a summary of NMP: given that they have titles I’ve never seen for sale anywhere else, and their prices are fair, I’ll certainly order from them again, but I’m not terribly impressed with either their communication skills or their dispatch speed.

The four books I bought for myself were all WW1 or Russian Civil War-focussed, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s been reading this site for a bit. In no particular order, they were:

  • Gone to Russian to Fight: The RAF in South Russian, 1918-1920 — a fascinating-looking book published in 2010 about the Royal Air Force’s expedition to support Wrangel and the White forces in southern Russia. I hadn’t realized that famous Canadian ace Raymond Collishaw was one of the senior RAF officers sent to Russia. The book also talks about the Tank Corp unit sent to the same areas to train the Russians in tank use, and who wound up fighting as well.
  • The White Armies of Russia, A Chronicle of Counter-Revolution and Allied Intervention — An NMP facsimile reprint of a 1933 history of the Russian Civil War. I’ve barely skimmed it since getting it, but various people including Rich of TooFatLardies recommended it as one of the standard early works on the RCW, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.
  • Notes for Infantry Officers on Trench Warfare, March 1916 — I bought this book and the next mostly to inspire scenery projects, although I’m not planning a full Western Front setup (but never say never…) I wanted to get the trenchworks and fieldworks I build “right”. This is another facsimile edition, a very nice little booklet, about 100 pages, with all the original line drawings. Trenches, fortified shellholes, shelters and bunkers, and some notes on attacking and defending same are all covered.
  • Manual of Field Works, 1921 — Another facsimile reprint, this is a 300 page monster with 175 line drawings, covering everything from trenches to bridges to field camps to roadworks to demolitions. More fodder for scenery building and general inspiration. Amusingly, I received the hardbound version despite having only paid for the paperback…

The fifth and final book in the order wasn’t for me but for Corey, who has been doing some Anglo-Zulu War gaming recently:

  • The Zulu Army and Zulu Headmen — A facsimile reprint of the official 1870 British intelligence report on the Zulu nation and military, with details of Zulu regiment composition, numbers and even uniform details, notes on the principal leaders of the Zulu nation and more. As a facsimile edition, it even reproduces the handwritten amendments someone had added to the text, small notes like “This regiment destroyed at such-and-such an engagement” and similar, which is fascinating.

I’ll be doing full reviews of my books, as I mentioned, in the near future as I do at least a fast first readthrough of them. I don’t actually have much of a military history library, so it’s nice to fill some gaps and get more reference material on my shelves, and I’ll be keeping any eye on NMP and almost certainly picking up more books from them, as their World War One materials are quite extensive.

I probably won’t waste my time sending any more emails to them again, though…