Wednesday, December 22, 2010

merry christmas

ive been busy over december with work and snowy weather and so painting has had to take a back seat.
hopefully the next few weeks should see some posts coming up
Merry christmas and a happy new year
heres to painting time over the holiday

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1866-1870 prussian line infantry

Some Foundry 1870 prussian i have finally got around to basing, been painted for a couple of years. also they now have a flag attached. The flag is one of the beautiful Helion ones for IR24 to be precise. Unfortunately it is larger than the old foundry standrad poles and so a bit of canabilisation had to be done to keep the streamers and finial and replace the staff. not a perfect result as the flag does not now come up to the base of the finial but the best i could do. Maybe could ahve separated the streamers but would have had to have a less attractive top to the flag pole then. Anyway
next up will be an ECW saker cannon now completed

ECW marksman

just a single model today, a warlord miniatures ECW marksman. im sure these were not very common in the ECW but due to their persistance in warhammer ECW and 1644 rulesets may explain their must have potential. dressed as a simple red coated parliamentarian

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Breaking news!

The Helion website has just announced that North Star Miniatures will be selling the helion 1866 range from now on. There is also a wish for the range to be developed further in the future, hopefully to complement the new Great War Miniatures crimean range they also stock. However, this may be just wishful thinking on my part. Anyway it is good news that these fine models will still be available. Although it is a great shame to see that Duncan has been unable to complete the range as he would have wished.

Monday, October 25, 2010

French Line Infantry 1870

I thought i would do a quick unit of FPW figures as it is meant to be the main focus of this blog even if i do get distracted quite often. These are Foundry models from the late 80s which i bought a while back in one of their 20% sales which bring the price down to a respectable level. I never by models from them unless in a sale as £11 for 6/8 models (or 3/4 cav) is just a bit too much for me. Despite their age these models are still some of the best and largest range of 28mm FPW models available (see previous grumbles about paucity of 28mm new models, excellent helion excepted).
Most of the models are in the standard charging poses with a few sergeants etc chucked in to break up the monotony. all are uniformed in the imperial phase outfits of greatcoat and epualettes. Interestingly the greatcoat was worn exclusively by the line infantry instead of the tunique a practice that apparently began in colonial conflcits in N. africa, where the temperature changes from hot days to freezing nights. Only one sergeant and the officer wear the tunique. Also i have painted the officer in an extremely dark uniform, virtually black, as officers presumably to show off their wealth and the quality of their clothes wore a much darker hue of the standard tunique with officers braid
Finally something i try to do on my french is add a few long service chevrons (upwards pointing chevrons on left upper arm only, coloured gold for sergeants and red for corporals and soldiers) and rank markers (single inner to outer upwards bar on both lower arms two gold sergeant major, single gold sergeant, 2 red corporal, 1 red private 1st class)
i normally have units of 16 models representing a full strength battalion of 600 men in 1870 (1 model=50men) although as you can see i painted 7 bases this time, theres no reason for this, i just had the models to hand and did them all together, c'est la vie. I have been looking to go back to trying the fire and fury mod fire and furia francese by nick dorell of the wyre wargames group as i realised i need to start playing again or this really does become a peculiar hobby. On the same not i have gone through and checked out what 15mm FPW models i have and so you may see some updates on these in the future as i try to organise them and finish off some units to use for fire and fury


Monday, October 18, 2010

AWI Generals (2)

awi generalawi general
these are the other 2 generals from the Perry miniatures american generals pack. Both are in standard uniform and look quite nice i think. one in a more standard and dignified officer pose whilst the other is leaning over his horse encouraging his men with a flourish of his hat! i like to think that this one is Benedict Arnold maybe at Quebec, so maybe i should have painted him in the red british uniform he wore in the early years of the war, oh well.
i did have a bit of an issue with these as for some strange reason they both have sashes which dont seem to be a feature of officers dress in any of the books i have. so after much deliberation i chose to paint them red, just as this always seems like an officer sort of colour, maybe becasue im british. my reasoning being that pale blue was apparently reserved for the commander in chief i.e. washington, and its likely that the american army would have aped the british with so many having served in both armies

French Garde Mobile

Ah the much maligned French Garde Mobile, often put down as a poor substitute for the regular army of Napoleon III but rarely remembered that they kept the war going for a full 5 months after the capitulation at Sedan. What they may have lacked in training and equipment, they made up for in motivation and numbers, with the French armies of the later/republican war often putting as many if not more men in the field than their German counterparts.
These are Foundry models which as ive said before, i am not a huge fan of these days as i think they are really dated in pose etc. having said that the mixture of poses i have used in this unit, mostly because they happpened to be the models i had, give a less uniform appearance which i think suits the garde mobile look.
actually thes mobile are very well equiped with the short tunique without epaulettes (as dispensed with by the republic, probably due to cost rather than imperial connotations, as they brought them back after the war i think), most have full kit and all have chassepot rifles with bayonets. I have painted them all in the standard pre-war mobile uniform of blue tunique with grey trousers with a large red side stripe, although trousers would have varied a lot even with garance red trousers being supplied to some units. i actually painted these models some years ago but have just rebased them on my standard base sizes 40x40mm. i used to base all my models individually but ive grown up since then and multi bases are so much more useful
next up will be an emplaced ECW saker (my last artillery for the ECW), FPW French regular infantry and hopefully when they arrive i will make a start on some more 1866 austrian infantry and hussars

Friday, October 8, 2010

AWI General

AWI general
This is the first of 3 AWI American Generals i have been painting, the other 2 are in more traditional dress and will follow next week. The model is a perry miniature and looks great and unorthodox in his hunting shirt looking back to encourage his men. all in all a lovely model and a pleasure to paint, although i do think his horse looks a little small, this seems to be a constant issue with model makers. ive seen 1 or 2 horses and it constantly amazes me how large they are expecially the type of thoroughbred that a wealthy american general could afford.

Arch enemies

charles IPhotobucket
well not exactly arch enemies as Oliver Cromwell, albeit a rising parliamentarian and puritan star, was only just coming to prominence whilst Charlie was still fighting for his kingdom.
Oliver Cromwell was an MP from Huntington, Cambridgeshire who raised a troop of cavalry early in the war and came to be second in command of the New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax at the end of the war. Cromwells main rise to power came after the 1st civil war when parliament was looking for proven military leaders who were willing to take the war and parliaments control to Ireland and Scotland, both of these posting were refused by fairfax leaving Cromwell with the opportunity to step up to the highest military position, he would later become Lord Protector (Britains only ever dictator). Oliver cromwell was a signatory on charlies death warrant, unlike fairfax who refused to sign and left public office.
These models are Foundry with a Perry ADC for charles. These models have been painted for about 8 years so you might spot the change in style between the foundry and the perry models. As part of my slow converting of lead into a fully completed army (is there such a thing) i had been painting and rebasing my entire ECW army and it is almost done, one or two cannon and specials to do, plus 2 units of warlord plastics that i got the other year. Having read a bit more recently about the wars after a long absence from my book collection i do have an idea of getting some troops for the Irish and Scots campaigns too. Another thing for the list.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

First 1866 Austrians

Oh its been a while. this is the first post in 2 months!!!!
a combination of work, homelife and a small holiday have meant there has been virtually no time for painting let alone gaming. having said that i have started regular boardgaming every week with some friends, which has led onto some roleplay which should start next week.
on the painting front the last week or 2 have been mildly productive and the most exciting thing for me is that i have finally completed my 1866 austrians. These are 28mm models from Helion and personally i love them, the much quoted largeness of these models is actually only a minor thing as i would keep units separate anyway on the tabletop. besides this from a personal point of view although i love the perry twins models the fact that one of the most comprehensive ranges available for the franco-prussian war etc. is their range from the mid 80s which looks really quite dated and static now compared to some of the other metal and plastic models currently available. The tragedy is that i have recently seen on matts blog that Helion are not going to develop the 1866 range any more and are looking to sell. this is a tragedy but unfortunately i am as much to blame as anyone else as whilst i have loved painting these models i have not yet bought anymore (this will change tonight) and as such am one of those who claim to love the models but dont put their money where there mouth is. The reason is due to the massive implications of new baby, busy job, finishing a PhD, financial insecurity and self imposed wargaming purchasing abstinance.
anyway i have painted these models as the KuK IR23 with are the same as every other austrian unit but with red facings. I would have got them done sooner but i always seem to take ages when i am learning how to paint a new uniform. i think i have managed an ok result though even if it did take me an age. the Helion flag really creates the perfect effect and draws the eye away from my mediocre painting
anyway, next up will be a few things some rebased FPW models and ECW generals

Thursday, July 29, 2010

American Militia

here is my final AWI unit for a while, mainly because i have not bought anymore at the minute. i intend to return to the AWI in the future to add more militia units, some cavalry etc. but for now due to financial constraints i will be trying desperatly not to buy any new figures instead working through my lead backlog
anyway, this unit has been painted to represent a Pennsylvania militia unit with some men outfitted in nice new uniforms whilst others are having to make do with their own clothes. obviously the officers are well dressed. i did toy with the idea of one officer being dressed in a continental blue uniform but decided agaiinst it in the end
next up on the work table are 1866 austrians i have been looking forward to these for ages and cant wait to finally get them started. some awi generals (not a unit so dont count) some more WotR bows and billmen, oliver cromwell and king charles and some WW2 15mm british bren gun carriers

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wars of the Roses Bowmen & Bills (2)

as usual a bit slow on the painting front this post, but have manegd to complete another small set of perry plastic bowmen and billmen.
i have painted most in the livery of Edward IV (York) as this will allow me to use them in most of the major battles of the middle portion of the wars
finally i have undercoated and based my 1866 austrians and have nearly finished my final (for now) unit of awi militia. so as long as work doesnt get in the way too much should have these up quite soon

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wars of the Roses Bowmen (1)

at last here are the first of my Perry Plastic Wars of the Roses figures. I have been fascinated by the wars that engulfed the British Isles in the mid and late 15th Century.
In brief the wars focused on the maschinations of the powerful faction under Richard of York (The Yorkists)and the royal favourites of Queen Margaret such as the Montagu family, Beauforts and the Northern Barons the Percys (The Lancastrians). The king Henry VI was a weak and almost certainly mentally unstable man who was used as a pawn by all the factions, including his wife, to justify their claims to the throne. The war raged on and off for 30 years from 1453 to 1487 before finally ending with the defeat of Richard III (York) by Henry Tudor who then became King Henry VII.
The perry models are , as usual, fantasticly detailed for plastics, how they manage to get so much detail on them is unbelievable. they are a dream to paint too being very simple but also with great texture to pick out the mail and hauberks etc. The models come in a variety of standing and advancing poses which have a variety of head and arm choices to make them either billmen or bowmen. Also included are 4 models in full harness to be used as command figures or men at arms. a standard bearer arm and herald are also included to complete the command models.I have based the models individually as i think it is likely that for some time these are going to be a side interest only for me, although the continued release of new perry metals and the plastic crossbowmen/pikemen box for european armies/mercenaries might tempt me

Next up are my first 1866 Helion Hungarian infantry. i love these models and have been dying to paint them for ages but other things have got in the way. i hope to have a unit of 20 painted fairly soon and then i can justify getting some more especially as helion now have free shipping and unit deals all of which make them even more attractive. Also to be completed will be some more WotR Billmen, my last militia unit for the AWI and some ECW odds and sods. Finally i am dusting off my Flames of War in time for the release of the Early war/Blitzkreig supplement which is out in August

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick castle is the historical and current seat of the Percy family, who were given the property in 1309. The castle now includes a lovely set of gardens and the state rooms all included in a rather expensive ticket price. The set up is very similar to warwick castle but in my opinion not quite upto their standards, having said that it was a very nice day.
I wish a bit more could have been made of the sieges and history involved with the castle and Percys. i did struggle to find information on how the castle had evolved over time and the role of differnet lords in the events of their times. The castle was besieged by the scots in 1093 and 1174 which resulted in the death and capture of the scottish king respectively! a further attack by scottish raiders did partially cature the castle and lead to the rescue of prisoners in 1577.
The difficulty with some of the acces to history may have something to do with the Percys always being on the wrong side of the crown whether it be because of assisting the dethronement of Richard II and the crowning of Henry IV, Henry Hotspur rebelling and dying at Shrewsbury 1403, supporting the lancastrian cause and losing two heads of the family at 1st St. Albans (second earl) and Towton (third earl), followed by a third (the fourth earl) killed by peasants about tax collection (following his standing idle during Bosworth and not supporting Richard III) or conspiring with the gunpowder plotters.
They do have a good area for kids where you can dress as a knight or lady etc overlooked by a rather dramaic statue of Henry (Hotspur) Percy. I have always suspected that Hotspur was an arrogant aggressive probably not very likeable man and this model does seem to get some of this over.
Anyway not a bad day out and i suppose any cost is fair when you think how much these places must cost to run.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

warkworth castle, northumberland

this is the first post from my recent holiday in Northumberland which for those of you who havent been there is absolutely gorgeous. we stayed about 30 miles north of newcastle, just north of the old county capital of alnwick. our little trip was helped by some fantastic weather that led to me getting burnt, although we did take especial care of little izzy, whose now 7 months.
My lovely wife was kind enough to allow me to drag her around several castles and i will post them up over time in amongst models as and when they are done.
Warkworth castle was built in the mid 12th century probably on the site of a previous anglo-saxon estate, and then a wooden norman castle.
the castle was initially described as 'feeble' leadint o the population of the town being massacred during a scottish raid in 1174. later robert fitz roger took over and rebuilt the core of the present castle between 1199 and 1214 leading to the later description of a 'noble castle'. robert was acptured at stirling in 1297 leading to the castle being taken into the crown control.
Edward III granted the castle to Henry Percy, second lord Percy, a main land owner in Northumberland. The percy family became the major leaders in the North of England and became so powerful that they challenged to king on a variety of occasions

The wars of the roses
instead of covering everything about the castle, which i strongly advise you to visit, i will instead focus the next part on the wars of the roses, which since growing up near Bosworth battlefield in leicestershire have always held a special place for me.
By now we are onto Henry, the second earl of Northumberland, who was killed at 1st St. Albans 1455. he was swiftly followed by his son, also Henry, the third earl, who was killed at Towton 1461
in 1462 the Percy/lancastrian stonghold of Northumberland was subdued by Edward IVs kingmaker Richard Neville, earl of Warwick. he used Warkworth as his headquarters whilst undertaking sieges of the Lancestrian castles of Alnwick, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh (all of which i will cover another time). The castle was later given to Richard Nevilles brother John, lord Montagu but then returned to Henry Percy, the fourth earl in 1471.

the castle
this castle has so many interesting faetures it is difficult to list them all but the spectacular layout of the keep with its home comforts such as a central light well, more serving areas, sluices and garderobes than most castles suggest the main role was influence rather than military.
the bailey is also amazing in that it has some beutifully preserved stonework showing the Percy lion which is hugely ornate. having said that there is no doubting the fact that like all castles the main effect is to intimidate by showing off the wealth and power of the owner

Sunday, June 6, 2010

i have not posted or some time which is partly due to my being so busy with work and homelife but also an element of lethargy on my own part both with painting and then posting the results of this work.
here i have posted a collection of 3 small units of charging rebel infantry from the american civil war. these are a mixture of foundry and perry miniatures
the great thing about painting rebs is that you dont have to follow any particular dress code as the supply of these troops was so haphazard that pretty much anything goes. having said that i have painted them with the idea of representing Hoods division at gettysburg. the 3 regiments shown are the 3rd arkansas, 15th alabama and 4th texas
i have decided rather than painting random models and units of the civil war to focus on a particular battle or part of a battle and as such have picked the fighting for little round top on day 2 of the battle of gettysburg. the reasoning for this is that i have an affinity for this battle due to my being for several years a memeber of a reenactment society portraying the 20th maine regiment. anyway as usual with this conflict painting models for a particular battle does not preclude you from using them in any other battle that takes your fancy

finally the next post will be 2 continental regts from the AWI, wars of the roses infnatry, ACW artillery for the union and rebs and some holiday snaps of castles i intend to visit in northumbria next week, if the wife lets me :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ECW saker

just a quick post as have been so busy with work recently
anyway this is a Warlord games Saker model with specialist artillerist lining up the gun
i like the ECW as nearly all units can be interchanged between both sides, as the uniforms were virtually identical. only certain flags and units are specific for particular sides

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

fort pulaski, savannah, georgia

back in the old UK now though so will endevour to unload more models as completed, next up for completion will be a brigade of confederate infantry and some AWI american riflemen and minutemen
on the american theme whilst on holiday in orlando, florida we were able to visit some relatives in savannah, georgia, only a 4 hour drive away. Savannah is a beutiful city which unlike nearly all the other US cities ive visited maintains a feel of the old colonial times, with the old mansion houses, cotton exchange and warehouses and helped significantly by the eerie feeling created by the spanish moss clinging to the trees

whilst there i was able to visit Fort Pulaski a fortification from the ACW era named after count casimir pulaski revolutionary war hero who was killed during the siege of savnnah in 1779. The fort was begun in 1829 and took 18 years to build was what deemed to be the height of military engineering. The fort was never garrisoned until the secession of georgia in 1861 when it was occupied by georgia state troops before being handed over to the confederate army.
the fort covered the only waterway approach to savannah sitting between the savannah river and south pass on cockspur island, therfore safe from infantry attack. as part of Burnsides operations along the coast to isolate the confederacy by naval blockade.
Col Charles Olmstead occupied the fort with 384 men whilst the Union forces led by captain Quincy A. Gillmore spent 2 months hauling 36 mortars and cannon (including 10 rifled cannon, 5 of which were 30lb parrotts) into 11 batteries on the nearby Tybee island before opening a bombardment of the fort on 10th April 1862. the bombardment lasted just 30 hours before a breech opened (the newer bricks in one of the pictures show were the extent of the breech) threatening the main magazine forcing Col Olmstead to sue for terms. Gillmore was breveted Brigadier General for his actions.
The destruction of a state of the art fort in such a short time highlighted the massive change in defensive tactics caused by the introduction of rifled artillery which allowed increased range and destructive potential (smoothbore artillery would have been effectively out of range due to the surrounding water).

Friday, March 12, 2010

French Turco Battalion

This will be my last post for a little while as too busy with work. Here again are some models i painted a while ago, these ones about a year ago.
anyway as usual this is a full strength battalion of 16 models (800 men) consisting of north african/algerian troops and ncos with french officers. The men are dressed in their traditional dress of baggy trousers, short zouave jackets and fez. The dress for the turcos and zouaves was virtually identical except for the colours used which were dark blue with red piping for the zouaves and sky blue with yellow piping for the turcos

turco battalion turco battalion
turco command

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bavarian Artillery 1870

here are 2 bavarian guns i painted quite a while ago for my franco-prussian war collection. again they are foundry casts and i agree with matt that these are some of their best models. i dont have a lot of bavarians but i might get the few infantry i have painted up soon as well
anyway both guns appear to be 6lb guns although with the steel krupp guns its very difficult to spot any difference between the 6 and 9lb fieldguns anyway
the artillery crews are dressed in their dark blue uniforms which differ from the infantrys cornflower blue (i did paint 4 batteries of 15mm ones in sky blue once before i realised, presumbly this reflects the dirtier job these guns are expected to perform and theirfore keeping their uniforms more presentable
bavarian artillery
bavarian artillery