Wednesday, 10 February 2016

1898 United States and Spanish Naval forces

The Spanish navy approach Santiago Cuba

One of the best aspects of wargaming has to be the people you meet, chat to or correspond with and connect with in so many ways.  In Australia, unlike in the UK, the distances one needs to travel to attend various gaming shows around the nation is enormous.  The largest show in Australia is held over a the Australia Day long weekend in Canberra, a mere four and a half hours flight away from my hometown in Perth over on the West Coast.  We are literally a continent away!

The US Navy decide that their bearings towards Santiago could also be interesting 

One of the chaps who I had a chance to get to know well is the mighty Greg Blake.

Greg and I first crossed paths when he was sculpting and selling then excellent "Cannon Fodder Miniatures" range from his home in Darwin up in the Northern Territory, where he was residing during his teaching career.  A more characterful set of figures you couldn't wish to have and his Sudan vignettes and figures still adorn my Sudan collection to this day!  

Spanish cruiser!

Another view of these wonderful naval vessels

USS New York prepares to engage the enemy and sets off to General Quarters!

Greg and his cohorts would for years put on the most entertaining of participation games at CANCON every year and my son Ben (as well as so many of the NWS lads who travelled east in those years for the show) enjoyed defending the Alamo against the rampaging forces of Santa Anna as well as defending the fields of Islandwana against the mighty Zulu's.  He always put on a magnificent game.

Love the smoke out of the funnels - do they call them that in military naval vessels?

Unusual looking vessel

Greg sent me through these images of his wonderful collection of 1898 Spanish-American War naval vessels which have sat dormant in a box for over 15 years.  They are, we believe, Houston models and the scale is a rather gentlemanly 1:1000 allowing older eyes like mine to enjoy the details on the vessels.

The thinking mans Naval Elite - Greg enjoying a game at his local club in Canberra

I think they look sensational and wanted to pop them up on the blog as an example of the varied and colourful lesser known and certainly lesser gamed  periods of history which can be fascinating and enormous fun.