My name is Brian Smaller. I live on a lifestyle block in rural New Zealand in a place called Ngaturi which is in the picturesque Mangamahu Valley. This is in the North Island of New Zealand. I have been a war-gamer since I was about seven years old. The hobby has kept me company, with a few long periods of inactivity, for 45 years.
The Woolshed is an actual woolshed that was used for decades on a large sheep station called Oeta. The Farmstead itself was built by a man called Jimmy Hunter, who rose to fame in New Zealand as part of the 1905 Originals – the Original All Black rugby team. On their famous tour of the United Kingdom and France, as Second-Five, he scored 44 tries in 22 games he played in on tour.
The Map above shows the relative location of the farmstead and the Woolshed. It is about a hundred metres from the house. Adjacent to it is a 400m2 covered stockyard. That large roof area is the main rainwater catchment for domestic consumption. There is a bore that feeds the troughs, outside taps and, importantly, the toilets. The previous owners of the property were going to convert it into a farm stay accommodation block. It was a project they started but never finished. One day perhaps….
The Woolshed is my ultimate man-cave. A space that I have not begun to utilise but fully intend to as I grow into the property.
For some interior photographs of the Woolshed see this post:
Cheers and thanks for dropping by.
16 thoughts on “What is the Woolshed?”
I like your site. I am also a Napoleonic Wargarmer
Thanks Julian. Appreciate it.
Hmmm … I fear you might just have been toppled off your perch as the biggest wargames room in the southern hemisphere:
Still I’m sure yours is still the biggest in NZ!
I saw that – Huge!
I really like your Chinatown. It looks very cool. So now, I need to build one 🙂 for my Wild West Games. What size board did you build your town on? It looks about the right size to transport without too much trouble.
Hi Blake. Thanks. The base is, from memory, about 17″ x 11.5″ (43cm x 29cm) – give or take a bit. Transport of the various bits is a pain in the behind. I have some wooden boxes that hold 3-4 building each. My bases are the exact same size as table place mats (the China Town is on a double sized one)..
Kia ora Brian – I’m the project director for the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gate Pa. You probably know that the 43rd was one of the regiments at Gate Pa in 1864. We are looking for displays of various kinds to place around the town for the commemoration which is set down for April 2014. Is this something you might be interested in?
Brian, I saw your question about Connoisseur Fusiliers on TMP. I can’t show you a picture as my collection is in store but the Connoisseur are good dynamic figures and much better than Bicorne Fusiliers that were a bit slim/spindly. From memory the sculpts are a bit Calpe/Elite like – there is a standing firing figure and an advancing charging figure. They were amongst the first large 25mm/ 28mm figures I bought.. They have well sculpted sealskins.
I think they are good and have stood the test of time.
Hope this helps a bit
You wouldnt happen to be the Brian Smaller who grew up in Mt Maunganui in the 1970’s?.
I would be the same person. Still into my toy soldiers. Me, Dobbie and Craig Love all still are.
Bernard is at the Mount and Craig lives in Hong Kong.
Great to hear the old Mt Collage persons are still going strong, are BD & CL up your way?
Good one, i was reading the comments on your father which i remember meeting a few times, my dad was also at Monte Cassino with the NZ 2nd Ammo Battalion he never talked much about the experience. Check out the Alexander Turnball Libary they have a lot of Photo’s from the NZ battalions in Egypt and Italy you never know who’s picture you may find. I visited Monte Cassino in 2008 no wonder it was such a hard nut to crack.
I never knew your Dad was a Cassino vet. I guess a lot of them never spoke about it much. So where are you now?
Ive been in New Plymouth since 1982 work for a local oil & gas company, NP reminds me a lot of how the Mount used to be before it all went mad up there. Most of my family still live there, i only get up once a year to see them. Good to hear you are well please say hello to BD & CL if you see them.
I will Paul, although I have not seen Craig in the flesh in 27 years and Bernard for two. We are not that far apart so we are more likely to catch up.