Wednesday, December 23, 2009

American 3lb Artillery

this is my first completed american artillery piece
it is a foundry piece and i have chosen to give it a 3lb gun barrel
i have painted them in a rather traditional manner and they have obviously benefitted from an efficient quartermaster as they have very dapper uniforms including gold braid around the brim of the tricorne. future gun crews will be in a much more rough and ready attire


Merry christmas to all

Friday, December 11, 2009

3rd New York Continental Infantry

this is my first AWI american unit and i have painted them as the 3rd New York continental infantry regt. i have painted them as a slightly mixed bag with some smart and some wearing the ubiquitous hunting shirt. i am quite please with how they have come out, even if i still need to get some more lovely flags from mr graeme black
next up will be an american 3pdr and the 4th New York in their rather snappy white uniforms with red facings


Saturday, November 28, 2009

ACW skirmishers

these are some of the ACW skirmishers i have been painting up over the last few weeks. for GAG it is quite common to have them deployed and many of the published scenarios require 6-18 of them. the rules allow skirmishers to be based individually with a small gap between each model, but in my opinion it is unimportant how they are based as long as the effect is correct. this allows some interesting dioramas.
the models used are a mixture of foundry and perry miniatures, most of the prone miniatures i picked up at phalanx a few years ago.
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i tend to paint my rebs in batches using a palette of 2 greys and about 6 browns, which i hope gives a suitably random assortment of clothing that i expect the rebs would have had. i also add in occasional union trousers and canteens. despite the fact that there are numerous recorded accounts of rebs wearing union blue jackets, i have so far veered away from using them on the tabletop as i suspect that much like in real life it would lead to confusion.
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in a couple of the dioramas i have used rendera plastic fence sections which are conveniently broken down and give a very dramatic positioning for skirmishers
most of the models are rebs as i posted the union ones a few weeks ago
next on the list of things to do will be some AWI continental infantry and ECW cannon

Monday, November 16, 2009

Battle of Hanover Court House

The Battle of Hanover Court House, 27th May 1862 - Scenario Book 3

The other week i played my first game of Guns at Gettysburg (GaG) in about a year. i had originally played about 2 games which had ironed out most of the gliches in learning a new ruleset, but as usual a layoff meant that had to virtually start from scratch again

The battle of hanover court house took place as Brig Gen Porters V corp extended north of Maj Gen McClellans army to allow the movement of reinforcements as part of the penisula campaign, at Peakes crossing (a railway station) confederate forces under Col Branch were defeated. However, the defeat of Maj Gen Nathaniel Banks in the Shendoah by Jackson required the reallocation of reinforcements that Porters movement was supposed to make possible

Porter initially pushed toward Hanover court house leaving a small body of troops at peakes crossing. Col Branch mistakenly thought these were the only Union troops in the area and rashly attacked achieving some initial success before Union reinforcements arrived and pushed the confederates from the field leaving over 200 rebel dead and 700 captured for a loss of 350 men

our refight involved me with the rebels and mike taking the Union forces. the scneraio requires a timescale of 8 turns for the confederates to rout or break the union forces, consisting of a single brigade with reinforcements. therefore i tried to be as aggresive as possible and kept my brigade on assault orders throughout the game. most infantry were deployed in line with a single large unit 12thNC in column hoping to punch a hole in the union centre. The union brigade remained on hold orders throughout
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initally the confederate attack was sluggish as the large number of woods slowed movement until the troops were able to break into the second field opposite the union troops and engage in musketry fire. the main casualties at this point fell upon the 18th NC which i had rather rashly pushed into the battleline unsupported to face the fire of the 44th and 25th NY regts and a battery of parrots and on the union side by the loss of the 2nd maine which had also unwisely been pushed forward to occupy the Kinney house

further advances by the rebels succeeded in developing the battle line as the union reinforcements arrived on turn 4. the stalemate was broken by the assault of the 12th NC in column into the 25th NY which had since run out of ammo and which after 2 rounds of combat broke and fled to the rear on turn 7
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the final turn saw further losses and both sides taking a brigade morale check which both passed resulting in a Union victory

Overall this game was very enjoyable despite coming up against a few things in the rules that i must reread. the timescale was tight but with a bit of extra planning the reb advance could have been swifter. The union player in this scenario has an easier role as the course of the battle is dictated by the rebs battle plan. overall though it was an enjoyable game and a nice introduction to GaG also apart from lots of woods not too much scenery was required

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sorry for the lateness

its been several weeks since my last post and im sorry for that but since getting back to the UK i have been busy back at work and decorating for the impending new addition to the family
i have managed to get some new stuff and up running and im showing them here today.
first up are some ACW union skirmishers, they will hopefully be followed by some confederate skirmishers and some diorama/skirmisher models too.
i tend to treat most of my figures these days purely on the need to get figures to a gaming standard as quickly as possible as i have so little time to paint now. Therefore i have stopped painting eyes etc. for all but main characters etc. these figures still need to be varnished and the bases flocked before they are completely finished. next on the list of items to do will be some AWI american milita and continentals and ECW cannon. I will also try to post up some older figures including franco-prussian models etc.
As you may have noticed i am not too familiar with photographing my models which is a relatively new experience for me. also despite my best efforts i am still struggling with photobucket. hopefully i will resolve all these issues by the next post

Monday, September 28, 2009

Leaving The USA

well after 6 months living and working in New Haven, Connecticut i will be returning to the UK in 4 days time. Whilst i have had a great time here the impending delivery of my first child is a much better reason to return to the UK than work.

The other downside to being away from home has been the lack of opportunities to paint and game. i have tried to keep up with things by doing plenty of background historical reading, including 3 ACW books, a russian civil war book and an AWI book. also i recently received some great looking woodland indians from conquest miniatures which i am really looking forward to painting when i return home.

finally on my return i will start posting some of my collection of figures online for you to peruse. Initially i will probably start with Franco-prussian and ACW figures as i am in the process of rebasing a significant portion of models from other periods

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point

In July i had the opportunity to travel to Vermont, USA for a relaxing holiday with my wife. After spending 2 days in the north of the state and around Burlington, a small city i would recommend anyone to visit for its relaxed college atmosphere and beautiful lake champlain, i was able to convince my wife that on our travels back to Connecticut that it would be great to stop and visit Fort Ticonderoga just over the water in New York state.

On the way south to Ticonderoga, we crossed lake champlain at crown point another important fort of the 1750s. The French built Fort St. Frederic on this site in the 1730s to control the lower reaches of Lake Champlain from the British and to overawe the native indians. This building included an immense stone tower more in keepiong with a medieval city than a frontier fort. As British aspirations on lake champlain increased the French realised the weakness of the fort to modern cannons and destroyed the fort at the approach of a British invasion force under Gen. Sir Jeffrey Amherst in 1759. The British immediately recognised the importance of this area for control of the lake and began construction of their own fort at Crown Point.
The fort was built in the typical Vauban style of the period with a central parade ground and mess buildings and a series of blockhouses and redoubts beyond the walls of the fort to protect the landward side. The fort was garrisoned weakly in the american war of indepence and was captured and used as a base for Gen. Benedict Arnolds campaign on the lake. With the loss of the American fleet at the battle of Valcour Island in 1776, the fort was abandoned. Despite a fire in 1773 destroying a large amount of the buildings inside the fort the walls and stone officers and soldiers quarters are still standing. A stroll around the walls is well worth the time. A small amount of remains from Fort St. Frederic can also be seen.

Travelling a few miles further south you come to Fort Ticonderoga. This impressively intact fort was begun by the French in 1755 and completed as Fort Carillon in 1758. The fort was attacked twice by the British in the Frecn Indian war. The first assault resulted in the catastrophic British defeat at the Battle of Carillon, 1758. Gen. James Abercrombie launched an unprepared assault against extensive abatis and field works placed by Gen. Montcalm some distance from the fort. The later siege resulted in the capture of the fort largely intact in 1759.

During the American Revolution (1775) a token garrison of British troops was captured along with large numbers of guns by Gen. Bendict Arnold, local hero Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. The guns were removed by Henry Knox through terrible winter weather to Boston where they formed the beginnings of the continental army's artillery.

The fort and the overlooking hill of Mount Independence were captured by the British in 1777 as part of Gen. John Burgoynes Saratoga campaign. Following the defeat of the British at Bemis Heights both Ticonderoga and Crown point were abandoned.

Today the fort is a well preserved tourist attraction, combining as it does key elements and characters from American Revolutionary history. some of the galleries are open and several have been restored to how they would have looked in the 1770s. During the summer a series of fife and drum and historical re-enactments occur.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Washington DC

Back in June i had the opportunity to visit Washington DC with the wife and whilst there i was able to drag her around all the famous monuments including a fantastic trip across the Potomac river to Arlington National Military Cemetary and former residence of General Robert E. Lee of ACW fame.

Amongst the landmarks are the Capitol building, seat of the US congress. Work began in 1795 leading to both wings being completed by the time of the war of 1812. In August 1814 British troops partially burnt the building. Further work resulted in the completion of the central rotunda in 1864 during the civil war.

The White house was begun in 1792 and has housed every US president since John Adams. It was completed in 1800 and like the capitol building partially burnt during the British occupation of Washington in 1814.
Ford's theatre (now a museum) has been

The Lincoln memorial stands at the end of west end of the national mall. It was originally commisioned in 1867 but work did not begin until 1914 and it was not completed until 1922. A Greek style front was based upon the Temple of Zeus. Inside sits a white marble depiction of Abraham Lincoln.

To either side of Lincoln are inscribed the key speeches of his presidency; the gettysburg address and the 2nd inauguration speech. Personally i found this monument one of the most moving in the whole of Washington, principally i think for the high moral ideals yet practical reasoning of Lincoln. Behind the monument is the bridge across the potomac to Arlington cemetery. Everything in this city is spread out so bring good walking shoes.

The cemetery was proposed by Quartermaster General Meigs in 1864 during the ACW. Meigs had recently lost his own son in the conflict and a national cemetery on the land of General Lee who had originally been offered command of the Northern forces was thought by many to be appropriate.

The cemetery has a wellcome centre which provides paper maps, which are generally useful listing some of the more famous incumbents, but actually finding their graves is a little more difficult. Key military incumbents include Maj Gen Phil Sheriden, Abner Doubleday not to mention numerous service personnel from the AWI onwards, including a separate section containing soldiers of the confederate states.

Other more recent conflicts are obviously represented by a significant array of monuments both in the cemetery and throughout Washington DC. Personally i found the most striking to be the US marine corps (Iwo Jima), for its sheer size and spectacle, and the Korean War monument for the gentle beauty of the simplistic yet moving platoon models.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

first post

this is the first post on my new blog so i will give you a bit of background about what i am working on at any particular time
i have a variety of interests but an overriding theme has been the franco-prussian war of 1870-71 which i have had a fascination with since seeing the figures of alan and michael Perry now produced by Foundry when i was about 12 years old. since then i have developed other waragming interests ranging from ancient rome to WW2 via the ECW, AWI, ACW etc. My wargaming introduction came, like a lot of people of my generation, from Games Workshop and Citadel Miniatures in the 1980s and whilst this may be sacriligous to many die hard historical gamers it certainly allowed me to develop an interest in miniature gaming that i certainly wouldnt have been able to get into otherwise. Nowadays i own virtually no fantasy figures having moved virtually completely to historical gaming, but i still hold an interest in the rich background of both GWs warhammer and 40k worlds.
i mainly game with 28mm miniatures but also have a fair collection of 15mm figures and have recently made a slight foray into 6mm napoleonics. mainly i prefer 28mm figures as i usually end up doing more painting than gaming and enjoy the visual character of 28mm figures particularly those produced by my favourite sculpters such as the Perry twins. Over time you will be able to see my work as it is produced, and please feel free to comment