Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Callan the Wargamer: Part 2

I managed to watch CALLAN: THE MOVIE last night, and I enjoyed the experience no end!

Watching the scenes that featured the wargame between Callan and Schneider reminded me that at the time the film went on general release, the terrain and figures that were used were what every wargamer seemed to aspire to have. Now it would look rather run-of-the-mill at most wargames shows in the UK. I suppose that this demonstrates how far the desire to have aesthetically appealing wargames has developed in the intervening years.

And now on to the film ...

David Callan (played by Edward Woodward) surveys the battlefield at Gettysburg and writes his initial orders down.
A Federal commander near Little Round Top.
Federal troops - in this case Zouaves - line the top of Cemetery Ridge.
More Federal troops deployed along the top of Cemetery Ridge.
The Confederates are deployed in the valley below the ridge.
Another view of the Confederate front line.
Confederate Artillery Batteries occupy the high ground behind their Infantry.
Columns of Confederate Infantry advance on Little Round Top.
The Confederate troops move forward inexorably.
The view from behind the Federal troops on Cemetery Ridge.
The Confederate and Federal troops face each other.
The Confederate advance up Little Round Top meets resistance ...
... but this is soon overcome and the Confederates appear to be about to turn the Federal flank.
However Federal Cavalry advance to cut off the Confederates on Little Round Top, and it looks likely that this will result in a disaster for the Confederacy.
As happens in so many wargames, the battle ended just as it was getting really exciting. Usually this happens because both sides have run out of time, but in this instance it was the arrival of the Police that brought the whole thing to a premature end.

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures - thanks for posting these.

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  2. Great stuff again Bob - thanks for posting these.

    I know it's been 20+ years since skinny Hinchliffe figures have been fashionable but personally i reckon that game would still stand out at most shows i go to - the terrain in particular just looks 'right', but maybe it's just me...8-)
    Cheers.

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  3. Mad Carew,

    I am glad that you enjoyed seeing them.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. DC,

    I am glad that you enjoyed seeing them. I must admit that I did think about getting my ACW figures out for a game after watching this film again, but I have promised myself that my next game will be a play-test of my latest draft of my version of Joseph Morschauser's 'Modern' Period Wargames Rules.

    The Hinchliffe figures may seem to be rather skinny by modern figure standards - they certainly were not as 'chunky' as the contemporary Minfigs - but I think that they were anatomically better proportioned and easier to paint.

    As to the terrain ... well there are few modern modellers who can equal what Peter Gilder was making all those years ago, and it certainly would not look out of place at a modern wargames show.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    Replies
    1. This game is featured in the book The art of warfare on land.David Chandler. As is Waterloo. Both have 25mm Hinchliffe figures

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    2. Unknown,

      I have a copy of that book, and will look it up. I must admit that I had not made the connection between the pictures in the book and the film. Thanks for pointing it out.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Good Lord, seeing those excellent pictures reminds me yet again what a pioneer Peter Gilder was. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. A J,

    He really was very good at what he did, and is greatly missed by many of us.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Thanks Bob. I've long heard of Callan but have never seen any ot it. Great stuff!

    Not sure I agree about the Hinchliffe, the proportions were right and the animation exceeded most others but they had an awful tendncy to wonkiness, odd angles and rubber joints etc. Now S range minifigs were better all around but by mid-70's yes the Minifigs had gotten a little broad in the beam.
    -Ross

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  8. Ross Mac,

    I am glad that I have been able to enlighten you a bit about Callan.

    You are quite right about the wonkiness of some of the Hinchliffe figures, and I must admit that I did prefer the Minfig S ranges. I thought that it was a big mistake when they were withdrawn because I found the replacements too chunky, although that did not stop me buying them!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Thanks for posting these great pics! I wonder how many other wargames have been interupted by a police raid since?

    Ian

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  10. Stryker,

    I don't know of any real wargames that have been interrupted by a police raid but you never know ...

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. The first picture almost makes me want to remove all the furniture from my Living Room (which we hardly use) and set up my wargame table and figure shelves. The Callan wargame room is the ultimate game room. Thanks for sharing the still pictures.

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  12. Der Alte Fritz,

    I think that a room like the one shown in the photograph is something that we all aspire to.

    One day, one day ...

    All the best,

    Bob

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