I have been busy the last couple of weeks painting for other people, so it will be a little while before I have anything from my own projects on which I can write. I am reluctant to leave another long gap in my blog so I thought that I would make a series of posts over the next few weeks that reflect the varied and different threads that make our hobby so fascinating.
A couple of years ago Mr Henry Hyde the noted wargames editor and raconteur, returned from a holiday in Lille enthused not only by the cooking but by a strange museum exhibit he had stumbled across. Deep in the bowels of the Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille, were a series of the most incredible models of the towns fortified by the great Vauban. The only disappointment was that his photos had not coped with the poor lighting and museum restrictions.
Then this winter my sister decided to go to Lille for some kind of Shopping Fest, strict instructions led her to the Museum basement where she was able to achieve the rare feat of leaving a French attendant lost for words by brushing off his patronising attempts to redirect her back to the girlie impressionists by sternly decrying 'I have come to study the work of the great Vauban'
The best bit was she was able to get a superbly illustrated catalogue. Most of the models were constructed for Louis XIV and renovated in the late 18C. As the pictures show they are mainly in remarkable condition.
I must say that the overall effect reminds me of the buildings, created by the late Charles Grant, that appear in The Wargame. Not over detailed but creating an effect through consistent simplicity. They are a wonderful source of inspiration for some 18C siege games and one day perhaps I shall get the electric jig saw and finally put together something worth playing over. In the meantime I have the most delightful book to browse and dream the afternoon away.
If anyone else wants a copy, the museum website is not very helpful. The best I can do is this.
I hope your French is better than mine.