Saturday, 7 March 2009

PG on TV

With Callan, Model World, and Battleground on TV, and shops in many large towns and cities, wargaming seemed to be almost socially acceptable in the late 70s. ....perish the thought!

Here we have the article on Battleground penned by Terry Wise (surely one of the hobby's original grumpy old men) and published in Battle magazine in June 1978. The article tells you pretty much all i know about the series. It's interesting that one episode saw a Gilder/Braithwaite rematch at Waterloo - Gilder as Napoleon took on Braithwaite's Wellington during a large multi-player Waterloo refight in 1975 that was written up for Mil Mod. That game was an overwhelming win for the Frogs - i wonder who won the televised version? As Gilder supplied most of the figures for the series i guess that my ex-Gilder ECW figures are also ex-TV stars.

I have a very vague memory of catching one episode on TV at the time, and obtaining a copy of the series remains an unfulfilled hobby Holy Grail (can you have multiple Holy Grails...?). If anyone has a spare Holy Handgrenade i'd like one of those too please.

I have very definite memories of the episode of Model World that covered wargaming (after all it featured an AWI game) - win my eternal gratitude if you can find me a copy of that.

More Gilder stuff to come over the next week or so....


Stryker said...

I don't remember the Gilder programmes but I do remember that episode of Callan with the Wargame Convention. Callan did indeed make Wargaming socially acceptable for a while. There was a brief period at school when my friends and myself were looked upon as cool because of it rather than the nerds we actually were - I even got chatted up by one of the girls after doing a Wargame Club poster as an art project! Happy days...


Lee Gramson said...

Great blog! Seeing those Gilder painted ECW's again has been amazing.... I was only recently admiring those same figures in the old Osprey title 'Naseby' which I still have. Your painting style on those AWI's matches his perfectly. I recall so many brilliant Gilder units in Wargames Illustrated which I collected from issue 1 for that reason!

Which paints are you using? That wash style used to work so well with the old Enamels but never quite did with Acrylics for me at least. Great to see that style revived.

I spent years trying to track down a copy of that Batteground series but never found it.


christot said...

February 1978...I never saw any of the programmes, or heard about them til later. At that time I was just a fevered mass of hormones, girls and punk-rock, so wargaming may have been taking a brief back seat.
Although I'd love to see the shows if anyone ever did track down a copy, I wonder if it would be such a great idea? Perhaps the reality of them wouldn't match up to the memory?
(a bit like my adolescent sex-life)

DC said...

You may well be right (about Battleground that is, not the stuff..8-) - i would expect it to look rather dated and amateurish, i'm still curious though...

Thanks for the comments. I still use Humbrol enamels i'm afraid - they are a poor shadow of their former selves, but i've never really got on with acrylics so i persevere. I have a theory that acrylics mixed with flo-aid would create a similar effect - i must try that one day. Using some sort of drying retarder would also probably help acrylics behave more like the old enamels.

It's the Callan movie that stuck in my mind. I tracked down a copy a few years ago and must admit to have watched it a fair few times. They treat the Gettysburg wargame quite well all things considered.

cheers all.

Anonymous said...

I have dcided to invent a time machine and go back to the 70's. OK I'll have to drive a Capri & wear dodgy clothes...but wargames seemed so much more fun! Anyone want to come along with me?


DC said...

I'm tempted..ish - as long as you can guarantee that no man-made fibres will be involved. Probably worth it just to pick up a load of Humbrol Authentic Colours.

You may have a point about wargaming being more fun way back when...or is it just that you have more fun when you are younger (or thik you did)? Will todays teenage wargamers look back in 20 years time and declare that the hobby was better when they were young? Is it just nostalgia or is there a serious point buried in there somewhere - a point worth pondering perhaps..

Greg said...

I remember watching all the programmes during the summer holls. Superb programmes It ignited my passion and my Airfix 1/32nd Napoleonics got the Gilder trearment albiet Humbrol mess. Im sure one of the programmes was interupted with news of Elvis`s death and I wasnt ammused to have Battleground interupted because of that! (Stroppy 7 year old)

Doug said...

What's wrong with a Capri (unless you are referring to pants of course..) at the time I was a punk-rocker, and coveting a neighbours converted Capri with a V8 351 cubic inch Ford engine, and a jacked up rear suspension.. very very cool...

Seb Palmer said...

Great post. Very interesting.

If Battleground is ever rediscovered, please can someone let me know (seb at seb palmer dot com). In the meantime I'll see if I can track down the Callan stuff.

Cheers, Seb