Over the past couple of months I have acquired more vintage “Battle for Wargamers” magazines from random years.  I find these old magazines fascinating as they present lots of well written, informative articles on a wide range of topics from uniforms to scenarios for games. The old advertisements for wargaming miniatures and the like are quite interesting to see. The letters to the editor are also highly entertaining reads. Not bad for magazines that are more than forty years old.

My lovely wife on a recent visit to a games shop decided to buy me a couple of pots of the “newish” Citadel Contrast Paints to see if it would encourage me to paint some miniatures again.  I ended up with Black Templar and Apothecary White. I did daub some paint on a couple of old figures as an experiment and found the black worked better than the white. The contrast paints certainly appeared to do what various reviewers have said and I can see they could be quite useful depending on what your painting goal is.

Contrast paints will surely allow miniatures to be painted quickly to an ok standard but if you want anything fancy then they will require overpainting and proper highlighting. However that can be said about any medium and method. It is reasonably easy to replicate contrast paints using various concoctions but there is a lot to recommend the convenience and consistency of it coming straight out of a pot.

The Art of Warfare on Land.

Continuing my quest for wargaming books that influenced my early ideas of wargaming and military history, I recently bought a copy of the late David Chandler’s massive “The Art of Warfare on Land”.  Chandler doesn’t need an introduction to anyone with an interest in military history and his book on land warfare is still one of the best general introductions to the subject, despite being originally published in 1974. If you want to know what a double envelopment is or analyse and learn about the other manoeuvres used by great generals throughout history, then this is the book to read.

“The Art of Warfare on Land” by David Chandler.

However my motivation for buying this book was its impact on my formative years. As a youngster I repeatedly borrowed it from the local library and read it to learn how the great generals of the past from Hannibal to Zhukov out manoeuvred their opponents. The other attraction was all the copious colour and black and white pictures.

Among the featured illustrations, there are three sets of photos that particularly inspired my young mind. The images, including double page spreads, illustrated the battles of Daras, Waterloo and Gettysburg, played out as wargames with commentary. The photos that most captured my imagination were of Byzantines, commanded by Belisarius, fighting the Sassanid Persians at Daras in 530 AD

The battle of Daras.